Submitted to: Inoculum
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/16/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Members of the Piptocephalidaceae are obligate parasites mostly of Mucorales. The family now comprises three genera, Piptocephalis, Kuzuhaea and Syncephalis, which can be found in dung, soil and leaf litter. In a phylogenetic tree inferred from 18S rDNA sequence data, a separate Syncephalis clade is identified that warrants the exclusion of Syncephalis from the family. The major divergence between this and the two remaining genera is also underlined by structural and ecological observations. About 200 isolates of Piptocephalis were critically examined. Thus far, 29 taxa have been described in the genus, 18 of which are recognized as distinct species, seven being doubtful and four names synonymous. Approximately ten new species await description. A first subdivision of the genus is based on the spore heads being either dry or forming a liquid droplet. The shape of the head-cells and the number of spores delimited in a merosporangium were found to be stable and valuable taxonomic characters, followed by branching pattern and septation of the sporophores. Zygospores arise from parallel or pincer-shaped suspensors and can have a variously sculptured exospore wall.