K.D. Hyde, Australian Systematic Botany 3: 712. 1990.


Sordariomycetes, Subclass Hypocreomycetidae






Tunicatispora K.D. Hyde, Australian Systematic Botany 3: 712 (1990)

Type and marine species:

Tunicatispora australiensis K.D. Hyde, Australian Systematic Botany 3: 712. 1990.

Ascomata: 240–360 µm high, 220–320 µm diam, globose to subglobose, hyaline below, hyaline to light brown on exposed upper surface, membranous, immersed or semi–immersed, solitary or gregarious, ostiolate, papillate. Peridium: up to 50 µm thick, composed of several layers of cells, pigmented, rounded and thick–walled towards the outside, elongate and thinner–walled towards the venter. Necks: 180–220 x 45–64 µm, light brown, periphysate. Asci: 70–102 x 22–26 µm, thin–walled, unitunicate, 8–spored, ovoid to clavate, deliquescing early, pedicellate. Catenophyses: present. Ascospores: 18–25 x 10–14 µm, hyaline, ellipsoidal, thick–walled, 1–septate, appendaged. Appendages: a thin skin–like sheath which surrounds the ascospore with openings at each pole; and a viscous pad arising from these openings at each spore pole. The pad is attached to the spore pole by a single thread but the pad was seldom seen to unravel.

Description based on Hyde 1990


Key references:

Hyde KD (1990). Intertidal fungi from warm temperate mangroves of Australia, including Tunicatispora australiensis, gen. et sp. nov. Australian Systematic Botany. 3: 711–718.

Jones EBG, Sakayaroj J, Sueterong S, Somrithipol A, Pang KL (2009) Classification of marine Ascomycota, anamorphic taxa and Basidiomycota. Fungal Divers 35: 1–18.

Jones EBG, Suetrong S, Sakayaroj J, Bahkali AH, Abdel–Wahab MA, Boekhout T, Pang KL (2015) Classification of marine Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Blastocladiomycota and Chytridiomycota. Fungal Diversity 73: 1–72.

McKeown TA, Moss ST, Jones EBG (1996). Ultrastructure of ascospores of Tunicatispora australiensis. Mycol Res 100: 1247–1255.

Pang KL, Vrijmoed LLP, Kong RYC, Jones EBG (2003). Polyphyly of Halosarpheia (Halosphaeriales, Ascomycota): implications on the use of unfurling ascospore appendages as a systematic character. Nova Hedwigia 77: 1–18.

Petersen KRL, Koch J (1997). Buxetroldia bisaccata gen. et sp. nov., a marine lignicolous halosphaeriacean fungus from coastal waters, Denmark. Mycological Research. 101(12): 1524–1528.

Type & Location:
Other Specimens:
Saprobic on the wood of Avicennia marina var. resinifera.
Australia, Denmark.
Pertinent Literature:
Description based on Hyde 1990
NOTES: Tunicatispora australiensis was collected on intertidal decayed wood of Avicennia marina var. resinifera collected in Australia (Hyde 1990). This monotypic genus is characterised mainly by the two types of ascospore appendage: (a) a thin skin–like sheath surrounding the ascospore with polar openings and (b) a pad arising from these openings which unravels in water. This yet another monotypic genus in the Halosphaeriaceae based on morphological observations as no cultures or sequence data is available (Jones et al. 2015). The mature ascospores of T. australiensis possess three wall layers; an innermost tripartite mesosporiurn, a tripartite episporium and an outermost seven–laminate exosporium. The polar appendages appear as pad–like structures (Hyde 1990) that do not uncoil but studies my McKeown et al. (1996) characterized them as single–stranded, coiled episporial polar appendages which uncoil on contact with water. The presence of ascospore appendages consisting of single, initially coiled, polarly attached 'threads' that uncoil when spores are released into water are characteristic of many genera assigned to the Halosphaeriaceae, e.g. Halosarpheia, Aniptodera sensu lato, Trichomaris and Tirispora as well as Tunicatispom australiensis. The polar appendages of all these species uncoil upon contact with water. Jones et al. (2009) regarded Buxetroldia bisaccata (Petersen & Koch 1997) as a synonym of Tunicatispora australiensis as the features separating them are no sufficient for a new genus. Tunicatispora can be differentiated mainly from Buxetroldia by its thin sheath around the ascospore in contrast to the thick and well–developed equatorial appendages which attach to the mid–septum in the latter (Pang et al. 2003).


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