Neofusicoccum Crous, Slippers & A.J.L. Phillips, Stud. Mycol. 55: 247 (2006)
Facesoffungi number: FoF 00153
Dothideomycetes, order incertae sedis, Botryosphaeriales, Botryosphaeriaceae
Saprobic or parasitic on the host plant. Sexual morph: Ascomata forming single or botryose aggregates up to 10, dark brown to black, stomatic, solitary or gregarious or confluent, at first immersed to semi-immersed, then becoming erumpent through the bark, globose with a short, conical papilla, unilocular or multilocular, thick-walled, ostiolate. Peridium composed of thick-walled, dark brown to hyaline cells of textura angularis. Pseudoparaphyses absent or present, when present, hyaline, filiform, septate, rarely branched. Asci 8-spored, bitunicate fissitunicate, clavate to cylindro-clavate, short pedicellate, apically rounded with well developed ocular chamber. Ascospores hyaline, uni-seriate to 2–3-seriate, fusoid to ovoid, smooth, aseptate, occasionally becoming 1–2-septate, thick and rough-walled (adapted from Liu et al. 2012, Phillips et al. 2013). Asexual morph: Conidiomata black, pycnidioid, solitary to gregarious or confluent, stromatic, immersed to erumpent, globose to subglobose or obpyriform, unilocular to multi-locular, glabrous, thick- and smooth-walled, papillate, ostiolate. Ostiole cylindrical or circular, straight or curved, centric or excentric. Conidiomatal wall composed of thick-walled, brown to hyaline cells of textura angularis or textura angularis to textura prismatica. Conidiophores reduced to conidiogenous cells. Conidiogenous cells hyaline, enteroblastic, phialidic, ampulliform to subcylindrical, indeterminate, smooth-walled. Conidia usually hyaline, fusiform to ovoid or elongate, aseptate, guttulate, smooth-walled. Synasexual morph Conidia brown, subglobose to obpyriform, with obtuse apex and truncate base, 1–3 transverse septa, 1–2 longitudinal septa, and 1–2 oblique septa (description of synasexual adapted from Phillips et al. 2013).
Type species: Neofusicoccum parvum (Pennycook & Samuels) Crous, Slippers & A.J.L. Phillips, Stud. Mycol. 55: 248. 2006.
Notes: Neofusicoccum species are emerging as a common and cosmopolitan species on a wide variety of hosts, for instance, N. australe occurs on 41 hosts, N. luteum (31), and N. parvum (55) (Liu et al. 2012, Phillips et al. 2013, Mehl et al. 2017). Some species are aggressive plant pathogens e.g., N. batangarum on seeds of Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae) and N. kwambonambiense on Syzygium cordatum (Myrtaceae), N. parvum on grapevines and Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae) (Phillips 1998, Shetty et al. 2011, Pavlic et al. 2009, Li et al. 2018).
Neofusicoccum was introduced by Crous et al. (2006a) to accommodate a group of asexual fungi being morphologically similar to Botryosphaeria, but phylogenetically distinct. In their study, 13 species were accepted in the genus, with N. parvum designated as the type. The sexual morph of N. parvum was described by Liu et al. (2012) from Linum usitatissimum (Linaceae), with globose to subglobose ascomata, 8-spored, butunicate asci and hyaline, fusiform to clavate ascospores. Species of Neofusicoccum share similar characters in hyaline to pale brown conidia, enteroblastic, subcylindrical conidiogenous cells, and forming synasexual morph (pale brown, transverse septate or muriform conidia) in culture (Phillips et al. 2013). However, most of these characters are overlapping, and can be very difficult to distinguish from one to another, and the use of molecular methods with multi-gene sequence data is required to separate species. Phillips et al. (2013) expanded Neofusicoccum to accommodate 22 species based on both morphology and phylogeny studies, and a key to the species was provided. Yang et al. (2017) added four species to the genus i.e., N. buxi Crous, N. pistaciae (Zachos, Tzav.-Klon. & Roubos) Crous, N. pistaciarum Tao Yang & Crous, and N. stellenboschiana Tao Yang & Crous. They recommended that in addition to ITS-tef1 sequence data, data from tub2-rpb2 are essential for species separation and polytomy resolution in Neofusicoccum. Five fresh collections from Italy and Thailand are identified as N. parvum and N. sinoeucalypti on the basis of combined ITS, tef1, tub2 and rpb2 sequence data (Fig. 246). Neofusicoccum italicum and N. pandanicola are reduced to synonymy with N. algeriense and N. parvum. Forty-three species are recognized in Neofusicoccum (Phillips et al. 2013, Marques et al. 2013, Berraf-Tebbal et al. 2014, Dissanayake et al. 2016, Marin-Felix et al. 2017, Yang et al. 2017, Zhang et al. 2017, Jami et al. 2018, Li et al. 2018).
Distribution: This genus has been reported across six continents and more than 29 countries (Sakalidis et al. 2013, Pavlic-Zupanc et al. 2015).
Li WJ, McKenZie EHC, Liu JK, Bhat DJ, Dai DQ, Caporesi E, Tian Q, Maharachcikumbura SSN, Luo ZL, Shang QJ, Zhang JF, Tangthirasunun N, Karunarathna SC, Xu JC, Hyde KD (2020) Taxonomy and phylogeny of hyaline-spored coelomycetes. Fungal Diversity 100: pages279–801.