Fungal Diversity

, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 141–164 | Cite as

Dismantling Melaspileaceae: a first phylogenetic study of Buelliella, Hemigrapha, Karschia, Labrocarpon and Melaspilea

  • Damien Ertz
  • Paul Diederich


Melaspileaceae is a heterogeneous group of Ascomycota including lichenized, lichenicolous and saprobic fungi. A first phylogenetic study of Melaspileaceae is presented and is based on mtSSU and nuLSU sequence data. We obtained 49 new sequences for 28 specimens representing 15 species. The genera Buelliella, Hemigrapha, Karschia, Labrocarpon and Melaspilea s. str. are included in a molecular phylogeny for the first time. Melaspileaceae is recovered as polyphyletic, with members placed in two main lineages of Dothideomycetes. Melaspilea s. str. is included in Eremithallales. Eremithallaceae is placed in synonymy with Melaspileaceae. The genus Encephalographa is placed in Melaspileaceae. The genera Buelliella, Karschia, Labrocarpon and several members of Melaspilea are demonstrated to belong to Asterinales, while Hemigrapha is confirmed in this order. The genera Melaspileella, Melaspileopsis, Stictographa are reinstated for former Melaspilea species now placed in Asterinales. Karschia cezannei is described as new, and the new combinations Melaspilea costaricensis, M. enteroleuca, M. urceolata, Melaspileella proximella and Melaspileopsis diplasiospora are made. Melaspileaceae as newly defined includes lichenized and saprobic species. The lichenicolous and saprobic life styles form different intermixed lineages in Asterinales that do not include lichenized taxa. The phylogenetic data provide a first framework for dismantling further the genus Melaspilea for which most of the species are expected to belong to Asterinales.


Asterinales Eremithallales Lichenicolous fungi Phylogeny Taxonomy 



We would like to thank the curators of herbaria cited in Materials and Methods for the loan of specimens. Anders Nordin is warmly thanked for information provided about Gyalecta sprengelianaMelaspilea urceolata material in UPS, Peter Poschlod for searching for the original material of Lichen cascarillae in REG, and André Fraiture for help with the code of nomenclature. Andre Aptroot kindly shared with us useful information on the taxonomy of Melaspilea s.l. Marion Eichler, Rainer Cezanne, Harrie Sipman and Pieter van den Boom provided fresh specimens used in this study. Ann Bogaerts, Cyrille Gerstmans, Myriam Dehaan and Wim Baert are thanked for technical assistance. Collection and export permits, and support during field work were provided to DE by the Office National des Forêts (ONF) + DIREN (Reunion), the Institut Polaire Français Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV) in the frame of the program 136 Subanteco (Dr. David Renault & Dr. Maryvonne Charrier; Kerguelen) and the RAMK herbarium (Thailand). Finally, the first author acknowledges financial support from the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) from Belgium (F.R.F.C. 2.4567.08).


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© School of Science 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Bryophytes-Thallophytes (BT)Botanic Garden MeiseMeiseBelgium
  2. 2.Musée national d’histoire naturelleLuxembourgLuxembourg

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