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Title:A new genus, Zhurbenkoa, and a novel nutritional mode revealed in the family Malmideaceae (Lecanoromycetes, Ascomycota) 
Authors:Flakus, A; Etayo, J; Perez-Ortega, S; Kukwa, M; Palice, Z; Rodriguez-Flakus, P 
Year:2019 
Journal:
 
Volume:111 
Issue:4 
First page:593 
Last page:611 
Publisher:Mycological Society of America 
Keywords:Arthonia epicladonia, lichenicolous fungi, Neotropics, Pezizomycotina, phylogenetics, systematics, 4 new taxa 
Abstract:Lichen-inhabiting fungi are highly specialized mycoparasites, commensals or rarely saprotrophs, that are common components of almost every ecosystem, where they develop obligate associations with lichens. Their relevance, however, contrasts with the relatively small number of these fungi described so far. Recent estimates and ongoing studies indicate that a significant fraction of their diversity remains undiscovered and may be expected in tropical regions, in particular in hyperdiverse fog-exposed montane forests. Here, we introduce the new genus Zhurbenkoa, from South America and Europe, for three lichenicolous fungi growing on thalli of the widespread lichen genus Cladonia (Lecanorales). Phylogenetic analyses based on combined sequence data of mt and nuc rDNA obtained from Andean populations (Bolivia) placed Zhurbenkoa as a member of Malmideaceae, a recently introduced family of lichen-forming fungi in the class Lecanoromycetes. Zhurbenkoa is closely related to the genera Savoronala and Sprucidea. The new genus is characterized by the development of grayish brown to almost black apothecia lacking an evident margin, an epihymenium interspersed with crystals (often seen as pruina), a strongly conglutinated hymenium made of noncapitate and sparsely branched paraphyses, a colorless exciple composed of radially arranged hyphae, a Lecanora/Micarea-like ascus type, and aseptate or 1-septate ellipsoidal colorless ascospores. Zhurbenkoa includes two Neotropical (Z. cladoniarum, Z. latispora) and one widespread (Z. epicladonia) species. The lichenicolous trophic mode is documented for the first time in the Malmideaceae, which until now included only lichen-forming associations between fungi and green algae. 
Associated taxa:
 
Summary:Flakus, A; Etayo, J; Perez-Ortega, S; Kukwa, M; Palice, Z; Rodriguez-Flakus, P. 2019. A new genus, Zhurbenkoa, and a novel nutritional mode revealed in the family Malmideaceae (Lecanoromycetes, Ascomycota). Mycologia. 111(4):593-611