Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Efforts to identify several fungal pathogens of larval flies (maggots) including those of sugar beet root maggot, TETANOPS MYOPAEIFORMIS (aeconomically serious pest) led to a taxonomic revision of the conidial (asexual) genus SYNGLIOCLADIUM. This study showed for the first time that SYNGLIOCLADIUM is one of many asexual (conidial) forms produced by species of the sexual (ascomycete) genus CORDYCEPS. This work extends ongoing efforts to clarify the complex relationships between CORDYCEPS species and nearly 20 conidial genera that are alternate asexual forms of these ascomycete fungi. It also addresses poorly resolved taxonomic issues about separating SYNGLIOCLADIUM from its own alternative asexual state (SOROSPORELLA species) that form still another wholly different type of spore serving an ecologically different role in the life histories of these fungi. This study is useful mainly for fungal taxonomists, but it provides a useful model for means to re-evaluate the taxonomy of several other morphologically confused and poorly distinguished groups of conidial genera with potential for use in the fungus-based biocontrol of insect pests.
Technical Abstract: Cordyceps variabilis has long been erroneously reported to be a pathogen of beetle larvae; studies of newly collected and herbarium specimens revealed that C. variabilis attacks fly larvae, particularly those of the family Xylophagidae (Diptera). The anamorph of C. variablilis is reported here for the first time, and is attributed to the hyphomycetous genus Syngliocladium. An allied species is reported as a pathogen of larvae of Tetanops myopaeformis, the sugar beet maggot (Diptera: Otitidae) and is described as a new species, S. tetanopsis. The taxonomy of the genus Syngliocladium is briefly reviewed, and the generic concept emended.