New species and records of Bryocentria – a hypocrealean genus of bryophilous ascomycetes

Authors: Döbbeler, Peter
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 50 (2010), Issue 1, pages 11-23.
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Key words: hepaticolous, hyperepiphyllous, necrotrophic parasitism, Hypocreales, taxonomy

Abstract: The bryophilous genus Bryocentria (Hypocreales, Ascomycetes), with three known species, is augmented by four new taxa. These are B. aequinoctialis, B. manubriataand B. merospora on epiphyllous Lejeuneaceae (Hepaticae) from Costa Rica, and B. septinensis on Sanionia uncinata (Musci) from Finland. Some new records of B. brongniartii and B. metzgeriae are also presented. Characters important at the generic level are the possession of small, lightly coloured, almost glabrous perithecia, a cellular cyanophilous excipulum often loosely covered by adjacent hyphae, numerous, eight-spored asci with delicate walls, tiny, two-celled ascospores of differing shapes with a cyanophilous septum or band-like structure in most species, and an obligate occurrence on bryophytes. All species, apart from the biotrophic B. brongniartii, are necrotrophic parasites that cause discoloured islet-like infections. Several species perforate the leaves of hepatics with their developing perithecia. Host species belong to different systematic and ecological groups of bryophytes, predominantly hepatics. Bryocentria merospora features a novel type of ascospore. After disarticulating, the globose partial spores concentrate in the ascus apex. The three hyperepiphyllous Bryocentria species demonstrate the wealth of nectrioid fungi in the phyllosphere of tropical rain forests.