Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 17, 2004
Publication Date: April 1, 2005
Citation: Liu, M., Rombach, M.C., Hodge, K.T., Humber, R.A. 2005. What's in a name? aschersonia insperata: a new pleoanamorphic fungus with characteristics of aschersonia and hirsutella. Mycologia. 97(1):246-253.
Interpretive Summary: This paper describes a new fungus from the Philippines that raises important issues about fungi included in the ascomycete family Clavicipitaceae that are pathogens of insects. This report confirms that genomic sequence information places the new fungus among other species of ASCHERSONIA and not among other species of HIRSUTELLA. The new fungus can produce some spores (conidia) whose characteristics are typical of all HIRSUTELLA species, but the great majority of spores formed are typical of fungi classified in the genus ASCHERSONIA. This is the first report formally proving that an ASCHERSONIA species can simultaneously also possess characteristics of a HIRSUTELLA species. We suggest that both types of spores may be active and infective under mutually incompatible environmental conditions; the ASCHERSONIA state may be active in wet conditions while the HIRSUTELLA state might function effectively during dry conditions.
A new anamorphic species from a Philippine tropical forest occurs as reddish-orange to orange, tuberculate stromata on unidentified homopteran larvae, and produces both ASCHERSONIA and HIRSUTELLA-like synanamorphs. A molecular phylogenetic analysis was conducted to determine the most appropriate generic placement for this fungus. Based on its phylogenetic relationships, a comparison of the complexity and persistence of each anamorph, and the speculated relevance of each synanamorph to survival, we describe the new fungus as ASCHERSONIA INSPERATA anam. nov.