Microascales » Microascaceae


Microascus Zukal, Verh. zool.-bot. Ges. Wien 35: 342 (1886)

Hypocreomycetidae, Microascales, Microascaceae, Microascus

Index Fungorum number: IF 3153; Facesoffungi number: FoF 02120; 54 morphological species (Species Fungorum 2020); 39 species with sequence data.


Saprobic on soil, decaying plant material and animal dung or adaptable pathogens of insects and animals, including humans. Sexual morph: Ascomata dark brown to black, superficial or immersed, subglobose to globose, solitary to gregarious, carbonaceous, hairy or glabrous, ostiolate. Ostiole papillate to lengthy necked. Peridium formed from several cell layers of hyaline, pseudoparenchymatous cells. Asci 8-spored, ovoid to subglobose sometimes clavate, sessile or short pedicellate, disposed at all levels within the centrum, evanescent. Ascospores pale red-brown to dark red-brown in bulk, seriate, ellipsoidal, or mostly asymmetrical, at times triangular or tetra-angular, with two germ pores, dextrinoid when immature, smooth-walled. Asexual morph: Conidiophores dark, often elongate, sometimes synnematous and frequently smooth-walled. Conidiogenous cells annellidic, borne singly and laterally on the vegetative hyphae, or in groups of 2–5 on short, simple or rarely diverged conidiophores, ampulliform or lageniform, subhyaline or darkening with age, smooth- or rough-walled with a distinctive cylindrical, annellate zone. Conidia pale yellowish to dark brown, 1-celled, globose to subglobose, obovate or clavate, with a truncate base and rounded or pointed at the apex, smooth, thin-walled or finely roughened, thick-walled, produced singly or in basipetal dry chains. Solitary conidia present in some species, borne sessile or on short stalks from the vegetative hyphae (adapted from Maharachchikumbura et al. 2016).


Type species: Microascus longirostris Zukal, Verh. zool.-bot. Ges. Wien 35: 339 (1886)


Notes: Phylogenetic study by Issakainen et al. (2003) indicated that subdivision of the genus was necessary. Sandoval-Denis et al. (2016b) confirmed that there were several distinct lineages which were supported by morphology, such as germ slits, synnemata or conspicuously hairy ascomata (Abbott 2000, Issakainen et al. 2003, Jagielski et al. 2016, Sandoval-Denis et al. 2016b). Sandoval-Denis et al. (2016a, b) resolved the taxonomic complexity of the genus and introduced seven new species, with new combinations in the Microascus lineage (Sandoval-Denis et al. 2016a). However, several taxa (e.g. M. longirostris and M. pseudolongirostris) have uncertain position in a phylogenetic tree, suggesting further study is needed to resolve the taxonomic placements of problematic taxa (Woudenberg et al. 2017). Microascus longirostris has a wide host range, mostly from dung of mammals, soil, wood, seeds, air, and clinical samples (Barron et al. 1961, Sandoval-Denis et al. 2016a, b, Woudenberg et al. 2017). Neither a type culture nor herbarium specimen is available (Barron et al. 1961, Sandoval-Denis et al. 2016a, Wijayawardene et al. 2017). A neotype of M. longirostris was designated by Sandoval-Denis et al. (2016a), which corresponds to the descriptions by Zukal (1885) and cultural characteristics descriptions correspond to Barron et al. (1961), Morton & Smith (1963) and von Arx et al. (1988).



Species illustrated in this entry:

Microascus longirostris Zukal




Abbott SP. 2000. Holomorph studies of the Microascaceae (PhD dissertation). Edmonton, Alberta, University Alberta

Barron GL, Cain RF, Gilman JC. 1961 – The genus Microascus. Canadian Journal of Botany 39, 1609–1631

Issakainen J, Jalava J, Hyvönen J, Sahlberg N. et al. 2003 – Relationships of Scopulariopsis based on LSU rDNA sequences. Medical Mycology 41, 31–42

Jagielski T, Sandoval-Denis M, Yu J, Yao L. et al. 2016 – Molecular taxonomy of scopulariopsis-like fungi with description of new clinical and environmental species. Fungal Biology 120, 586–602

Maharachchikumbura SSN, Hyde KD, Jones EBG, McKenzie EHC et al. 2016 – Families of Sordariomycetes. Fungal Diversity 79, 1–317

Morton FJ, Smith G. 1963 – The genera Scopulariopsls Bainier, Microascus Zukal, and Doratomyces Corda. Mycological papers 86

Sandoval-Denis M, Gené J, Sutton DA, Cano-Lira JF et al. 2016a – Redefining Microascus, Scopulariopsis and allied genera. Persoonia 36, 1–36

Sandoval-Denis M, Gené J, Sutton DA, Wiederhold NP et al. 2016b – New species of Cladosporium associated with human and animal infections. Persoonia 36, 281

von Arx JA, Figueras MJ, Guarro J. 1988 – Sordariaceous ascomycetes without ascospore ejaculation. Nova Hedwigia Beihefte 94, 1−104

Wijayawardene NN, Hyde KD, Rajeshkumar KC, Hawksworth DL et al. 2017 – Notes for genera: Ascomycota. Fungal Diversity 86, 1–594

Woudenberg JHC, Sandoval-Denis M, Houbraken J, Seifert KA et al. 2017 – Cephalotrichum and related synnematous fungi with notes on species from the built environment. Stud Mycology 88, 137–159

Zukal H. 1886 – Mycologische Untersuchungen. Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften 35, 337


About Sordariomycetes

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