, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 435–443 | Cite as

Archaeospora ecuadoriana sp. nov. from a mountainous biodiversity hotspot area in Ecuador, and transfer of Palaeospora spainiae to Archaeospora, as A. spainiae comb. nov.

  • Arthur SchüßlerEmail author
  • Christopher Walker
Original Article


A new glomeromycotan fungus, Archaeospora ecuadoriana sp. nov., was found in the south Ecuadorian mountain rainforest region, a global plant biodiversity hotspot. It was cultivated as single spore isolate originating from nursery-grown native tree seedlings inoculated with mixed soil from pristine forest and agricultural fields. The new species is known from the Loja area, southern Ecuador, at about 2100 m above mean sea level (mamsl) and has been detected in potato roots from an Andean region in Peru at 2658 mamsl by previous molecular data. The fungus forms small, colourless to frosted white, mainly globose spores, averaging 61 × 60 μm, formed singly or very rarely in clusters. There is no reaction to Melzer’s reagent, other than a slight unspecific overall yellow iodine staining. The spores are very similar to those of Archaeospora trappei and A. schenckii. However, molecular phylogenetic analysis shows the species to be clearly separate from all other described Archaeospora species. The analysis of the available Archaeospora sequence data shows that sequences of Palaeospora spainiae, of the monospecific genus Palaeospora, cluster within the genus Archaeospora. Palaeospora therefore is synonymised with Archaeospora and P. spainiae is transferred to Archaeospora, as A. spainiae comb. nov.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi DNA barcode Ecuador Archaeospora ecuadoriana Archaeospora spainiae Species description 



We thank Claudia Krüger for conducting the PCR and cloning of the DNA and some of the cultivation work.

Funding information

The German Research Foundation (DFG) funded part of this study in the frame of the Research Unit 816, Project SCHU 1203/10.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by Arthur Schüßler and Christopher Walker. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Arthur Schüßler and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Genetics, Department BiologyLudwig-Maximilians-University MunichMartinsriedGermany
  2. 2.SYMPLANTA GmbH und Co. KGDarmstadtGermany
  3. 3.Royal Botanic Garden EdinburghEdinburghUK
  4. 4.School of Agriculture and EnvironmentUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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