First report of a unique resupinate ascomycete, Karstenella vernalis (Karstenellaceae, Pezizales) from Japan

Ohmae M., Nakajima M., Orihara T.

Vol. 16 (3) – 15 juin 2024

doi: 10.25664/art-0396

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Abstract: The rare ascomycete Karstenella vernalis is unique among Pezizales because of its thin, resupinate ascomata, which are formed directly on the soil surface or plant debris. This species has been reported only a few times in Finland and the USA. We recently collected characteristic, resupinate ascomata that were morphologically identical to K. vernalis from four sites in the Kanto region, Japan. These ascomata were found near the forest edge or along forest paths. Molecular identification based on the large subunit (28S) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA showed a high level of sequence similarity between the Japanese and North American specimens. Additionally, we successfully established cultures of K. vernalis on nutrient agar plates, and the colonies often formed hyphal aggregations, that may be considered sclerotia.

The monotypic ascomycete genus Karstenella Harmaja was proposed for K. vernalis Harmaja, which was reported from southern Finland (Harmaja, 1969). This species is characterized by fairly thin (ca. 0.4–0.7 mm), resupinate ascomata seated on a subiculum on the soil surface or plant debris […]

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