, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 249-277

A molecular, morphological and ecological re-appraisal of Venturiales―a new order of Dothideomycetes

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Abstract

The Venturiaceae was traditionally assigned to Pleosporales although its diagnostic characters readily distinguish it from other pleosporalean families. These include a parasitic or saprobic lifestyle, occurring on leaves or stems of dicotyledons; small to medium-sized ascomata, often with setae; deliquescing pseudoparaphyses; 8-spored, broadly cylindrical to obclavate asci; 1-septate, yellowish, greenish or pale brown to brown ascospores; and hyphomycetous anamorphs. Phylogenetically, core genera of Venturiaceae form a monophyletic clade within Dothideomycetes, and represent a separate sister lineage from current orders, thus a new order—Venturiales is introduced. A new family, Sympoventuriaceae, is introduced to accommodate taxa of a well-supported subclade within Venturiales, which contains Sympoventuria, Veronaeopsis simplex and Fusicladium-like species. Based on morphology and DNA sequence analysis, eight genera are included in Venturiaceae, viz. Acantharia, Apiosporina (including Dibotryon), Caproventuria, Coleroa, Pseudoparodiella, Metacoleroa, Tyrannosorus and Venturia. Molecular phylogenetic information is lacking for seven genera previously included in Venturiales, namely Arkoola, Atopospora, Botryostroma, Lasiobotrys, Trichodothella, Trichodothis and Rhizogenee and these are discussed, but their inclusion in Venturiaceae is doubtful. Crotone, Gibbera, Lineostroma, Phaeocryptopus, Phragmogibbera, Platychora, Polyrhizon, Rosenscheldiella, Uleodothis and Xenomeris are excluded from Venturiales, and their ordinal placement needs further investigation. Zeuctomorpha is treated as a synonym of Acantharia.