Melanospora Corda, Icon. fung. (Prague) 1: 24 (1837)
Hypocreomycetidae, Coronophorales, Ceratostomataceae, Melanospora
Saprobic or weakly parasitic on plant materials, commonly isolated from soil and closely accompanying with other fungi. Sexual morph: Ascomata pale yellow, superficial to immersed, globose to ovoid, gregarious, inconspicuously ostiolate, setose, translucent, appearing dark brown to black, due to the massed ascospores, with or without short neck, with a ring of rigid, hyaline, smooth and thick-walled setae around the ostiole, setae right to slightly curved or sinuous, pale yellow, aseptate, thick-walled. Peridium membranaceous, thick-walled, pale yellow to pale yellowish-brown, cells of textura globulosa or textura angularis. Paraphyses absent. Asci 8-spored, unitunicate, largely obovate to clavate, fasciculate, apex rounded, without apical ring, short pedicellate, broadly rounded apex, evanescent walled. Ascospores irregularly biseriate, at first hyaline and guttulate, later brown to dark brown, large ellipsoidal, one-celled, smooth and thick-walled, with two terminal germ pores, surrounded by a dark ring-like structure. Asexual morph: Hyphomycetous. Conidiophore simple, erect, brown or dark brown. Conidiogenous cell phialidic, single on aerial hyphae or rarely on conidiophores, lageniform, hyaline, some genera (Acrospeira) integrated, terminal, monoblastic. Conidia globose, spindle-shaped, 1−(–4) celled, some genera (Gonatobotrys) produced in grape-like bunches around each swelling, some genera (Pteridiosperma) produced from solitary phialides on aerial hyphae or rarely on conidiophores (adapted from Maharachchikumbura et al. 2016).
Type species: Melanospora zamiae Corda, Icon. fung. (Prague) 1: 24 (1837)
Notes: Melanospora was established by Corda (1837) to accommodate Ceratostoma chioneum (= Melanospora chionea) and two new species, Melanospora zamiae and M. leucotricha, with the former chosen as the type species (Kowalski 1965). Melanospora is the largest genus of this family. Most Melanospora species are parasitic and associated with a wide host range, such as basidiomycetes, sexual and asexual ascomycetes, as well as with other fungi and some species obtain nutrients by fusing with the host protoplasts, an interaction called fusion biotrophism (Jeffries & Young 1994, Sun et al. 2019). Harveson (1999) reported Melanospora species as potential biocontrol agents, which can grow on pathogenic fungi. This genus is distinguished by translucent ascomata with a neck composed of intermixed hyphae and with an apical crown of setae, and smooth or ornamented ascospores with an apiculate germ pore at each end, and a phialidic asexual morph (Marin-Felix et al. 2018). The morphologically similar genera to Melanospora and other genera in Ceratostomataceae were re-examined and discussed in MarinFelix et al. (2018).
Species illustrated in this entry
Melanospora zamiae Corda
Corda ACJ. 1837 – Icones fungorum hucusque cognitorum. Abbildungen der Pilze und Schwaemme I. Pragae
Harveson RM. 1999 – Evaluation of the parasitic relationship of Melanospora and other allied genera with Fusarium oxysporum. PhD thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville
Jeffries P, Young TWK. 1994 – Interfungal Parasitic Relationships. CAB International. Wallingford
Kowalski DT. 1965 - The development and cytology of Melanospora tiffanii. Mycologia 57, 279– 290
Marin-Felix Y, Guarro J, Cano-Lira JF, García D et al. 2018 –Melanospora (Sordariomycetes, Ascomycota) and its relatives. MycoKeys 44, 81–122
Sun JZ, Liu XZ, McKenzie EHC, Jeewon R et al. 2019 – Fungicolous fungi: terminology, diversity, distribution, evolution, and species checklist. Fungal Diversity 95, 337–430