Delitschiaceae M.E. Barr

Index Fungorum number: IF 82092


Terrestrial, hyper-saprobic on herbivore dung, or rarely on aged wood or plants. Sexual morph: Ascomata uni-locular pseudothecia, solitary or scattered, sometimes gregarious, immersed to erumpent, brown or black, globose to subglobose, or pyriform, membranous to coriaceous, with a papilla or a well differentiated ostiole, outer wall smooth or hairy, periphysate. Peridium pseudoparenchymatous exostratum, consists with textura angularis cells. Hamathecium of dense, long, branching, anastomosing, cellular pseudoparaphyses. Asci 8-spored, sometimes 4 or poly-spored, bitunicate, fissitunicate, cylindrical to cylindric-clavate, pedicellate, with a non-amyloid, refractive apical apparatus. Ascospores uni- or bi-seriate, rarely tri-seriate, ovoid or ellipsoid, pale to dark brown, unicellular or bi- to multi-cellular, often constricted at the septum, resulting in fragmenting cells, wall smooth, with a full length germ slit in each cell, surrounded by a gel coat. Asexual morph: Undetermined.


Type genus: Delitschia Auersw., Hedwigia 5: 49 (1866)


Notes: The family Delitschiaceae (Pleosporales) was introduced to accommodate three genera of the family Sporormiaceae, that were clearly different from that family in having a periphysate ostiolum and asci with a well-developed and refractive apical chamber (Barr 2000). Delitschia, the type genus of this family, was introduced by Auerswald (1866) and assigned to Sphaeriaceae. It was considered to be closely related to Sordariaceae and Amphisphaeriaceae. Winter (1887) assigned Delitschia under Sordariaceae and this placement is followed in several subsequent studies (Griffiths 1901; Kirschstein 1911). Cain (1934) suggested that Delitschia might belong in Pleosporaceae and this proposal was supported by Moreau (1953) and Dennis (1968). In his key to coprophilous Sphaeriales, Cain (1934) separated the fissitunicated bitunicate fungi in to three genera, Sporormia, Delitschia, and Pleophragmia on the basis of ascospore septation. Munk (1957) established Sporormiaceae and Delitschia was assigned therein together with other coprophilous genera, i.e. Sporormia (inclusive of Sporormiella), Perisporium (= Preussia), and Trichodelitschia. Barr (1987) included the Sporormiaceae in Phaeotrichaceae, but later (Barr 1990) regarded them as independent families, misinterpreting Phaeotrichaceae as having unitunicate asci and accommodating them in Sordariales. Finally (Barr 2000a) subdivided coprophilous bitunicate fungi in three families, assigning those with ascospores with germ pores to Phaeotrichaceae, those with germ slits or no germinal mechanism to Delitschiaceae or Sporormiaceae, the latter aperiphysate and with a narrow ascal endotunica lacking a refractive apical apparatus. Phylogenetic molecular studies (Kruys et al. 2006; Schoch et al. 2009) showed Phaeotrichaceae, Sporormiaceae and Delitschiaceae to form separate monophyletic groups.



Auerswald B (1866) Delitschia nov. gen. e grege Sphaeriacearum simplicium. Hedwigia 5:49–64

Barr ME (1987) New taxa and combinations in the Loculoascomycetes. Mycotaxon 29:501–505

Barr ME (1990) Prodromus to nonlichenized, pyrenomycetous members of class Hymenoascomycetes. Mycotaxon 39:43–184

Barr ME (2000) Notes on coprophilous bitunicate ascomycetes. Mycotaxon 76:105–112

Cain RF (1934) Studies of coprophilous Sphaeriales in Ontario. Univ Toronto Stud: Biol Ser 38:1–126

Dennis RWG (1968) British ascomycetes, 2nd edn. J. Cramer, Vaduz

Griffiths D (1901) The North American Sordariaceae. Mem Torrey Botanical Club 11:1–134

Kirschstein W (1911) Sphaeriales. Kryptogamen–Flora der Mark Brandenburg 7:164–304

Kruys A, Eriksson OE, Wedin M (2006) Phylogenetic relationships of coprophilous Pleosporales (Dothideomycetes, Ascomycota), and the classification of some bitunicate taxa of unknown position. Mycological Research 110:527–536

Moreau C (1953) Les genres Sordaria et Pleurage. Encyclopédie Mycol 25:1–130

Munk A. (1957) Danish pyrenomycetes. A preliminary flora. Dansk Botanisk Arkiv 17:1–491

Schoch C.L., Sung G.H., López-Giráldez F., Townsend J.P. (2009) The Ascomycota tree of life: a phylum–wide phylogeny clarifies the origin and evolution of fundamental reproductive and ecological traits. Systematic Biology 58: 224–239

Winter G (1887) Ascomyceten. Rab Krypt Flora 1(2):1–928


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