Saturday, February 15, 2014

New Species: Lepidostroma winklerianum

There has recently been amazing burst of discovery in what is now known as the order Lepidostromatales. Until 2007, only one of the species that is now in the order had been described. Then, in a series of recent papers, five new species have been described. The most recent new species is Lepidostroma winklerianum, named after Sieghard Winkler, one of the authors who first described the genus Lepidostroma.

Morphology and anatomy of thallus squamules of Lepidostroma winklerianum
(a–b) Fully grown and young squamules. [scale=1 mm] 
(c) Section through squamule.  [scale=100 μm]
(d) Photobiont cells.  [scale=10 μm]
(e) Upper cortex in section view. [scale=10 μm]
(f) Upper cortex in surface view. [scale=10 μm]

Here is a key to the currently-known species in the order Lepidostromatales:

1a Thallus crustose, undifferentiated, lacking distinct cortical structures (Sulzbacheromyces); basidiomata clavarioid; Neotropics (northeastern Brazil) ... Sulzbacheromyces caatingae
1b Thallus microsquamulose to squamulose, with distinct cellular cortex; basidiomata clavarioid or club-shaped ... 2

2a Thallus microsquamulose, composed of contiguous glomerules with cortex formed by distinctly lobate, jigsaw-puzzle-shaped cells (Ertzia), medulla absent; basidiomata clavarioid; tropical Africa (Rwanda) ... Ertzia akagerae
2b Thallus distinctly squamulose, composed of scattered to dense, rounded to reniform squamules with cortex formed by polygonal or jigsaw-puzzle-shaped cells (Lepidostroma), medulla present; basidiomata clavarioid or club-shaped ... 3

3a Basidiomata clavarioid; squamules lacking raised margin and maculae; photobiont layer above medulla, more or less uniform, with scattered cells throughout medulla and in lower portion of squamules; photobiont cells lacking pyrenoids; Neotropics (Costa Rica, Colombia) ... Lepidostroma calocerum
3b Basidiomata club-shaped; squamules with conspicuous, slightly raised white margin, their surface maculate; photobiont layer below medulla, forming pyramidal columns protruding upwards; photobiont cells with pyrenoid(s) ... 4

4a Upper cortex with jigsaw-puzzle-shaped cells in surface view; tropical Africa (Rwanda) ... Lepidostroma rugaramae
4b Upper cortex with polygonal cells in surface view; Neotropics (Mexico) ... 5

5a Squamules 1.5–3 mm diam.; upper cortex multi-layered; basidia 2-sterigmate ... Lepidostroma vilgalysii
5b Squamules 0.5–1.5(–2) mm diam.; upper cortex single-layered; basidia 4-sterigmate ... Lepidostroma winklerianum


Hodkinson, B. P., B. Moncada, and R. Lücking. 2014. Lepidostromatales, a new order of lichenized fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes), with two new genera, Ertzia and Sulzbacheromyces, and one new species, Lepidostroma winklerianumFungal Diversity 64(1): 165-179.
Download publication (PDF file)
View publication (website)

[This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under DEB-0715660.]

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