|De Silva, Manuela|
Submitted to: Studies in Mycology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/25/2004
Publication Date: 12/15/2004
Citation: Verkley, G.J., De Silva, M., Wicklow, D.T., Crous, P.W. 2004. Paraconiothyrium, a new genus to accommodate the mycoparasite coniothyrium minitans, anamorphs of paraphaeosphaeria, and four new species. Studies in Mycology. 50:323-335. Interpretive Summary: Fungi that parasitize and kill other fungi and offer a potential source of new biocontrol agents, antifungal proteins and antibiotics are useful to agriculture and medicine. Analyses of DNA sequence data as well as fungal microscopic characteristics revealed that a new genus Paraconiothyrium be created to accommodate the biocontrol agent Coniothyrium minitans and related species of parasitic fungi, currently classified among other genera. Each of the Paraconiothyrium species is phylogenetically distant from typical members of genera comprising the current classification. Researchers in applied fields who work with different isolates of Paraconiothyrium will benefit from an improved predictive value of their identifications, and will be able to exchange information more effectively.
Technical Abstract: Coniothyrium-like coelomycetes are drawing attention as biological control agents, potential bioremediators, and as producers of antibiotics. Four genera are currently used to classify such anamorphs, Coniothyrium, Microsphaeropsis, Cyclothyrium, and Cytoplea, but due to morphological plasticity it is often difficult to asses their best generic disposition. A new genus, Paraconiothyrium is proposed to accommodate four new species, P. estuarinum, P. brasiliense, P. cyclothyrioides, and P. fungicola. They are described on the basis of anamorphic characters in vitro. Teleomorphs are unknown, but maximum parsimony analysis of ITS and SSU nrDNA sequences showed that they belong in the Pleosporales and group in a single clade with Paraphaeosphaeria s. str., the biocontrol agent Coniothyrium minitans, and the ubiquitous soil fungus Coniothyrium sporulosum. C. minitans and C. sporulosum are therefore also combined into the genus Paraconiothyrium. The anamorphs of Paraphaeosphaeria michotii and Paraphaeosphaeria pilleata are also regarded as Paraconiothyrium, but remain formally unnamed. Paraconiothyrium species are phylogenetically distant from typical members of the extant coelomycete genera mentioned above.