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Special Issue

Taxonomic and ecological studies on Ascomycota, with emphasis on xylariaceous fungi

A special issue dedicated to Prof. Jack D. Rogers edited by Yu-Ming Ju and Julia Kerrigan

This is an article collection published in Botanical Studies.

This special issue is a tribute to the late Prof. Jack D. Rogers, a respected mycologist renowned for his significant work on Ascomycota, the largest phylum in the Fungi kingdom, with an emphasis on the family Xylariaceae. As such, the issue brings together contributions from his colleagues who specialize in ascomycetes, with a particular focus on xylariaceous fungi.

Prof. Rogers, who for many years taught the “Ascomycetes” course at Washington State University, Pullman, described numerous new genera and species of Ascomycota, including Jumillera, Pareutypella, Vivantia, and Whalleya among others. His global collaborations with fellow mycologists and his initiation of a website dedicated to xylariaceous fungi, a group that intrigued him since the beginning of his academic journey in the 1960s, are a testament to his commitment to mycology. Prof. Rogers passed away on June 14, 2021, at the age of 83 in Pullman.

Ascomycota, also known as sac fungi or ascomycetes, are characterized by their sexual spores—ascospores—enclosed within a sac-like structure known as an ascus. This phylum comprises over described 64,000 species of fungi that inhabit various natural environments such as forests, soil, rivers, and polar regions. They play vital roles in decomposition, nutrient cycling, symbiosis, and pathogenesis. Moreover, they are prevalent in our surroundings where they serve beneficial roles in food fermentation and production of useful antimicrobial metabolites but can also inflict economic damage as pathogens to plants and animals.

Xylariaceous fungi are commonly found on wood, seeds, fruits, plant leaves and even associated with insect nests. These fungi are characterized by a set of morphological features, including colored ascospores with a germination slit and a ring-like ascus apical apparatus that turns blue in an iodine reagent. They are among the most frequently encountered groups of ascomycetes. They are distributed across the temperate and tropical regions of the world, with at least 50 accepted genera and several thousand accepted species. While most decay wood and many are plant pathogens, over the past few decades, many xylariaceous fungi have been identified as endophytes in living plant tissues.

Published articles in this collection

  1. Morphology, hosts, and collecting sites of fungi assessed from herbarium material of special interest deserve to be brought to the attention of mycologists.

    Authors: Liliane E. Petrini
    Citation: Botanical Studies 2023 64:32
  2. The genus Camillea was created in 1849 from collections made in French Guiana with eight species included. Numerous species assigned to Camillea were subsequently discovered, especially in the forests of the Amaz...

    Authors: Jacques Fournier, Huei-Mei Hsieh, Christian Lechat, Yu-Ming Ju, Delphine Chaduli and Anne Favel
    Citation: Botanical Studies 2023 64:31
  3. Xylaria is a diverse and ecologically important genus in the Ascomycota. This paper describes the xylariaceous fungi present in an Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest and investigates the decay potential of selected Xyl...

    Authors: Nickolas N. Rajtar, Joshua C. Kielsmeier-Cook, Benjamin W. Held, Cristina E. Toapanta-Alban, Maria E. Ordonez, Charles W. Barnes and Robert A. Blanchette
    Citation: Botanical Studies 2023 64:30
  4. Xylaria collections from termite nests with dichotomously branched stromata have been identified as X. furcata. However, Léveillé’s original material is no longer available, and the modern interpretation of X. fu...

    Authors: Yu-Ming Ju, Huei-Mei Hsieh and Nuttika Suwannasai
    Citation: Botanical Studies 2023 64:21
  5. Xylaria species growing on fallen leaves and petioles have not been treated systematically. One source of confusion in this group of Xylaria species has stemmed from X. filiformis, which is an ancient name publis...

    Authors: Yu-Ming Ju and Huei-Mei Hsieh
    Citation: Botanical Studies 2023 64:19
  6. Globally, many undescribed fungal taxa reside in the hyperdiverse, yet undersampled, tropics. These species are under increasing threat from habitat destruction by expanding extractive industry, in addition to...

    Authors: R. Vandegrift, D. S. Newman, B. T. M. Dentinger, R. Batallas-Molina, N. Dueñas, J. Flores, P. Goyes, T. S. Jenkinson, J. McAlpine, D. Navas, T. Policha, D. C. Thomas and B. A. Roy
    Citation: Botanical Studies 2023 64:17
  7. The Xylariaceae and its relatives rank as one of the best-known members of the Ascomycota. They are now well recognized for their diversity, global distribution, ecological activities and their outstanding nov...

    Authors: Nuttika Suwannasai, Ek Sangvichien, Cherdchai Phosri, Sirirath McCloskey, Niwana Wangsawat, Pisit Thamvithayakorn, Nutthaporn Ruchikachorn, Surang Thienhirun, Sureewan Mekkamol, Prakitsin Sihanonth, Margaret A. Whalley and Anthony J. S. Whalley
    Citation: Botanical Studies 2023 64:15
  8. The genus Induratia is based on Induratia apiospora, a xylarialean pyrenomycete from New Zealand with clypeate uniperitheciate stromata, hyaline apiospores and a nodulisporium-like anamorph. However, because of t...

    Authors: Marjorie Cedeño-Sanchez, Rahel Schiefelbein, Marc Stadler, Hermann Voglmayr, Konstanze Bensch and Christopher Lambert
    Citation: Botanical Studies 2023 64:8
  9. The biodiversity of the mycobiota of soft cheese rinds such as Brie or Camembert has been extensively studied, but scant information is available on the fungi colonizing the rinds of cheese produced in the Sou...

    Authors: Sophie De Respinis, AnnaPaola Caminada, Elisa Pianta, Antoine Buetti-Dinh, Patrizia Riva Scettrini, Liliane Petrini, Mauro Tonolla and Orlando Petrini
    Citation: Botanical Studies 2023 64:6