Pseudoplectania africana (Sarcosomataceae, Pezizales), a new species from South Africa




Ascomycota, crystals, fungal diversity, phylogeny, taxonomy


Background: An undescribed species of Pseudoplectania was found during an excursion in Mpumalanga.
Objectives: To describe Pseudoplectania africana M.Carbone & Sochorová as a new species and to evaluate presence of crystals as a diagnostic character in Pseudoplectania.
Methods: The description was based on standard macro- and microscopical methods. Presence of crystals was tested for in UV light. Phylogeny was inferred using sequencing of the LSU and ITS loci.
Results: Pseudoplectania africana is characterised by shortly stipitate to sessile apothecia up to 18 mm broad, richly developed basal tomentum, ascospores with an eccentrically positioned, relatively small sheath, straight, sometimes bifurcate paraphyses, wavy to coiled external hairs and presence of large yellow crystals mainly in the hymenium and ectal excipulum. It was found on a decaying coniferous trunk. The species forms a distinct lineage in the clade with P. tasmanica and P. ericae. All of these three species exhibited presence of the large yellow crystals (sulphur yellow in UV light). No or only small hyaline crystals (whole mount blue in UV light) were found in P. nigrella, P. lignicola, P. episphagnum and P. melaena.
Conclusion: The new species represents the first report of Pseudoplectania in South Africa and probably also in the whole of continental Africa. Crystals in hymenium and excipulum appear to be an important trait in Pseudoplectania taxonomy.


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How to Cite

Sochorová, Z., Carbone, M. ., Sedlářová, M. ., Polhorský, A. ., & Sochor, M. . (2022). Pseudoplectania africana (Sarcosomataceae, Pezizales), a new species from South Africa. African Biodiversity & Conservation (Bothalia), 52(1).



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