Peridial Morphology and Evolution in the Prototunicate Ascomycetes

  • R. S. Currah
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 269)


The prototunicate ascomycetes include fungi with small, unicellular, hyaline or pale-coloured ascospores that develop within globose, thin-walled, evanescent asci. Ascospore release is passive and mediated by the activities of micro- and macrofauna. A diverse range of peridial types has evolved within the group in response to selective pressures affecting spore dispersal from enclosed areas such as animal burrows and small protected spaces in decaying plant and animal matter and in soil. Passive release of hyaline spores has lead to a simplification and modification of peridial structure so that apparently unrelated groups share similar peridial types. Anamorph characteristics and substrate preferences support the supposition that at least two distinct evolutionary lines, representing descendants related to the operculate and inoperculate discomycetes and the Hypocreales, share characteristics encompassed by the prototunicate ascomycetes. With this in mind, the genera of the prototunicate ascomycetes in the orders Eurotiales and Onygenales are reviewed and some are realigned to provide a basis for analysis by molecular techniques.

The new combination Auxarthon llanense (Varsavsky & Orr) Currah is made.


Keratinophilic Fungus Ericoid Mycorrhizal Fungus Wall Dissolution Talaromyces Emersonii Ascospore Morphology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. S. Currah
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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