Mycological Progress

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 445–470 | Cite as

Morphology and molecules: the Sebacinales, a case study

  • Franz Oberwinkler
  • Kai Riess
  • Robert Bauer
  • Sigisfredo Garnica
Original Article


Morphological and molecular discrepancies in the biodiversity of monophyletic groups are challenging. The intention of this study was to find out whether the high molecular diversity in Sebacinales can be verified by micromorphological characteristics. Therefore, we carried out molecular and morphological studies on all generic type species of Sebacinales and additional representative taxa. Our results encouraged us to disentangle some phylogenetic and taxonomic discrepancies and to improve sebacinalean classifications. This comprises generic circumscriptions and affiliations, as well as higher taxon groupings. At the family level, we redefined the Sebacinaceae, formerly the Sebacinales group A, and set it apart from the Sebacinales group B. For taxonomical purposes, it seems appropriate to refer Paulisebacina, Craterocolla, Chaetospermum, Globulisebacina, Tremelloscypha, and Sebacina to the Sebacinaceae and Piriformospora, and Serendipita to the Sebacinales group B. At the lower taxonomic level, we propose within the Sebacinaceae (1) to introduce Paulisebacina for Sebacina allantoidea, (2) to transfer Efibulobasidium rolleyi into a new monotypic genus, Globulisebacina, (3) to include Tremellostereum in Tremelloscypha, (4) to transfer Sebacina amesii into Tremelloscypha, (5) to combine S. helvelloides and S. concrescens in their own genus, Helvellosebacina, (6) to transfer Tremellodendron spp. into Sebacina, (7) to define S. epigaea s.str. without cystidia and flagelliform dikaryophyses, but with star-shaped resting spores, and (8) to separate S. cystidiata with simultaneously irregular germinating spores and inconspicuous cystidia, and S. flagelliformis with flagelliform dikaryophyses from S. epigaea s.str. Additional clades in Sebacina, based on molecular differences, cannot be distinguished morphologically at present.


Supplementary File Hyphal System Generative Hypha Micromorphological Feature Stereum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was supported by a research grant, OB 24/30-1, of the German Research Council (DFG). We are very grateful to R. Kirschner for a critical pre-review of the manuscript and helpful comments, and to V. Bandala, L. Ryvarden, S. Setaro, and L. Tedersoo for providing fungal material. Laboratory assistance of S. Silberhorn is gratefully acknowledged.

Author Contributions

FO, KR, and SG collected fungal samples, FO performed the microscopic work and illustrations, and wrote the paper. KR and SG conceived and designed the molecular studies, and constructed the phylogenetic tree. RB added critical comments.

Supplementary material

11557_2014_983_MOESM1_ESM.docx (108 kb)
Supplementary File 1 (DOCX 107 kb)
11557_2014_983_MOESM2_ESM.docx (143 kb)
Supplementary File 2 (DOCX 143 kb)
11557_2014_983_MOESM3_ESM.xls (78 kb)
Supplementary File 3 (XLS 77.5 kb)
11557_2014_983_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (443 kb)
Supplementary File 4 (PDF 443 kb)


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Copyright information

© German Mycological Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franz Oberwinkler
    • 1
  • Kai Riess
    • 1
  • Robert Bauer
    • 1
  • Sigisfredo Garnica
    • 1
  1. 1.Evolutionäre Ökologie der PflanzenUniversität TübingenTübingenGermany

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