Melanops Nitschke ex Fuckel, Jb. nassau. Ver. Naturk. 23-24: 225 (1870) [1869-70]
Dothideomycetes, order incertae sedis, Botryosphaeriales, Melanopsaceae
Saprobic on dead wood or stems of Fagus sylvatica and Quercus robur. Sexual morph: Ascomata black, stomatic, initially immersed, ultimately erumpent, solitary to gregarious, rounded in surface view, multilocular, glabrous, ostiolate. Ostioles circular, centrally located on each locule. Peridium composed of textura angularis with thick-walled, brown cells. Pseudoparaphyses hyaline, hyphae-like, septate, constricted at septa. Asci 8-spored, bitunicate, fissitunicate, clavate, pedicellate, apically rounded with an ocular chamber. Ascospores hyaline, irregularly biseriate in the ascus, ellipsoid to rhomboid, obtuse at both ends, widest in the middle, unicellular, smooth- and thin-walled, with a mucilaginous sheath (description from Phillips and Alves 2009, Liu et al. 2012). Asexual morph: Conidiomata dark brown to black, eustromatic, scattered to gregarious, or confluent, subperidermal in origin, immersed to partly erumpent, multi-locular, thick-walled, smooth, glabrous, ostilate. Ostiole circular, papillate, central on each locule. Conidiomatal wall composed of outer layer of thick-walled, dark brown, occluded cells of textura angularis to textura globose; and inner layer of pale brown to hyaline, thick-walled cells of textura prismatica. Conidiophores arising from innermost wall of conidiomata, reduced to conidiogenous cells or present, when present, hyaline, cylindrical to subcylindrical, blunt and branched at base, smooth-walled. Conidiogenous cells hyaline, enteroblastic or holoblastic, cylindrical or subcylindrical, determinate or indeterminate, discrete or integrated, smooth-walled. Conidia hyaline, cylindrical, aseptate, obtuse or acute at apex, narrowed and truncate at base, surrounded by a persistent mucus sheath, guttulate.
Type species: Melanops tulasnei Fuckel, Jb. nassau. Ver. Naturk. 23-24: 225 (1870) [1869-70]
Notes: Melanops is characterized by large ascomata and conidiomata that occur within the same stroma and ellipsoid to rhomboid ascospore and very large fusiform conidia enclosed in a mucus sheath (Phillips and Pennycook 2004, Phillips et al. 2009, Liu et al. 2012). Classification based on morphology has resulted in a great deal of confusion in Melanops. Melanops tulasnei was originally described as Dothidea melanops Tul. & C. Tul. by Tulasne (1856). Winter (1887) made a new combination Botryosphaeria melanops (Tul. & C. Tul.) G. Winter to accommodate D. melanops. Arx and Müller (1954) synonymized B. melanops under B. quercum. Phillips and Pennycook (2004) suggested that the correct name for this species is B. melanops and designated a specimen in PAD as neotype. Phillips and Alves (2009) epitypified the type species M. tulasnei and considered Melanops to be a genus in Botryosphaeriaceae. This concept was followed by Liu et al. (2012) and Hyde et al. (2013). However, Slippers et al. (2013) introduced a new family Melanopsaceae to accommodate monotypic genus Melanops based on DNA sequence data of six loci (SSU, LSU, ITS, tef1, tub2, mtSSU) analyses. Phillips et al. (2019) agreed with Slippers et al. (2013) and accepted Melanopsaceae as a separate group in Botryosphaeriales based on ITS and LSU sequence data, and evolutionary divergence times. Jiang et al. (2018) described two taxa, M. castaneicola on Castanea mollissima, and M. chinensis on Quercus sp.
Two samples collected on Fagus sylvatica from Italy and one collected on Quercus robur from Russia, clustered with M. tulasnei and an undescribed Melanops sp. with high bootstrap support (100/100/1) (Fig. 214). Combined with morphological characters, the two collections from Italy are recognized as conspecific taxa and introduced as a new species M. fagicola, while the one from Russia is identified as M. tulasnei.
Distribution: China, Germany, Italy, Russia (Phillips and Alves 2009, Jiang et al. 2018, this study).
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.