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Open Access Mortierellaceae from subalpine and alpine habitats: new species of Entomortierella, Linnemannia, Mortierella, Podila and Tyroliella gen. nov.

Fungi are incredibly diverse, but they are unexplored, especially in the subalpine and alpine zone. Mortierellaceae are certainly one of the most abundant, species-rich, and widely distributed cultivable soil fungal families in terrestrial habitats, including subalpine and alpine zones. The phylogeny of Mortierellaceae was recently resolved based on current state of the art molecular techniques, and the paraphyletic genus Mortierella sensu lato (s. l.) was divided into 13 monophyletic genera. Our extensive sampling campaigns in the Austrian Alps resulted in 139 different Mortierellaceae pure culture isolates representing 13 new species. For the definition of taxa, we applied both classical morphological criteria, as well as modern DNA-based methods. Phylogenetic relationships were resolved based on the ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (rDNA ITS), the large subunit (LSU), and the DNA-directed RNA polymerase II largest subunit 1 (RPB1). In this study, we proposed a new genus and described 13 new species belonging to the genera Entomortierella, Linnemannia, Mortierella and Podila. In addition, we proposed eight new combinations, re-defined E. jenkinii at species level, defined a neotype for M. alpina and lecto- as well as epitypes for M. fatshederae, M. jenkinii, and M. longigemmata. The rDNA ITS region is generally applied as classical barcoding gene for fungi. However, the obtained phylogenetic resolution is often too low for an accurate identification of closely related species of Mortierellaceae, especially for small sampling sizes. In such cases, unambiguous identification can be obtained based on morphological characters of pure culture isolates. Therefore, we also provide dichotomous keys for species identification within phylogenetic lineages.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Microbiology, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstrasse 25, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Publication date: December 1, 2022

This article was made available online on October 18, 2022 as a Fast Track article with title: "Mortierellaceae from subalpine and alpine habitats: new species of Entomortierella, Linnemannia, Mortierella, Podila and Tyroliella gen. nov.".

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  • Studies in Mycology is an international journal which publishes systematic monographs of filamentous fungi and yeasts, and special topical issues related to all fields of mycology, biotechnology, ecology, molecular biology, pathology and systematics. The journal is Open-Access and contains monographs or topical issues (5–6 papers per issue). There are no restrictions of length, although it is generally expected that manuscripts should be at least 50 A4 pages in print.
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