A culture-based survey of staining fungi on oil-treated timber after outdoor exposure in Australia and the Netherlands uncovered new taxa in Pezizomycotina. Their taxonomic novelty was confirmed by phylogenetic analyses of multi-locus sequences (ITS, nrSSU, nrLSU, mitSSU, RPB1, RPB2, and EF-1α) using multiple reference data sets. These previously unknown taxa are recognised as part of a new order (Superstratomycetales) potentially closely related to Trypetheliales (Dothideomycetes), and as a new species of Cyanodermella, C. oleoligni in Stictidaceae (Ostropales) part of the mostly lichenised class Lecanoromycetes. Within Superstratomycetales a single genus named Superstratomyces with three putative species: S. flavomucosus, S. atroviridis, and S. albomucosus are formally described. Monophyly of each circumscribed Superstratomyces species was highly supported and the intraspecific genetic variation was substantially lower than interspecific differences detected among species based on the ITS, nrLSU, and EF-1α loci. Ribosomal loci for all members of Superstratomyces were noticeably different from all fungal sequences available in GenBank. All strains from this genus grow slowly in culture, have darkly pigmented mycelia and produce pycnidia. The strains of C. oleoligni form green colonies with slimy masses and develop green pycnidia on oatmeal agar. These new taxa could not be classified reliably at the class and lower taxonomic ranks by sequencing from the substrate directly or based solely on culture-dependent morphological investigations. Coupling phenotypic observations with multi-locus sequencing of fungi isolated in culture enabled these taxonomic discoveries. Outdoor situated timber provides a great potential for culturable undescribed fungal taxa, including higher rank lineages as revealed by this study, and therefore, should be further explored.
- Classification of Pezizomycotina
- Cyanodermella oleoligni
- Fungal cultures
- Multi-locus phylogeny
- Oil-treated wood