Laetinaevia marina is a frequent ascomycetous fungus that is widely distributed on the seashores of Scandinavia and Great Britain. It grows on fronds of Fucales (Phaeophyceae) that are washed ashore and lie decaying at the high tide mark or further up on the beach. It is one of the few described marine discomycetes. In the current generic concept it is regarded as a member of Naevioideae (Dermateaceae or Mollisiaceae), while it has previously been placed in the genus Orbilia (Orbiliaceae). We studied fresh collections, in live and dead state, to provide a morphological update on the species and to elucidate its systematic placement using molecular systematics. The hemiamyloid reaction of the apical ring, the absence of croziers, and the faintly refractive vacuolar bodies of the terminal cells of living paraphyses are reported here for the first time. A thin gel sheath surrounding the ascospores was confirmed to exist. Based on morphological characters, ribosomal RNA and protein coding gene sequences published for this species here for the first time, we show that L. marina is distinct from the genera and families it was previously placed in, and propose the new combination Calycina marina, despite its erumpent, sessile, pulvinate and rather immarginate apothecia. Furthermore, we present additional observations on the ecology, phenology, and distribution of the species.
About the authors
Hans-Otto Baral studied Biology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Since the 1970s he has been working on the taxonomy, pleomorphy, phylogeny, and ecology of ascomycetes, particularly inoperculate discomycetes. Over 25 years ago, he started to work on a world-wide monograph of Orbiliomycetes which is presently being finished. During the past 30 years, he has published studies in various genera of Helotiales, including the cause of the ash dieback disease. His main concern is the study of living fungal cells, called “vital taxonomy”, which he found to supply a much more reliable basis for morphology-based fungal taxonomy, and a better understanding of the function of fungal microstructures.
Teppo Rämä is mycologist and postdoctoral fellow in Marine Biodiscovery. His work with fungi started in Finland in the 2000s, and in 2014 he received his PhD at the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway. He is interested in the diversity and biology of fungi, and especially the species that are found in the marine environment. His current research focuses on marine fungal biodiscovery and biosystematics.
Tromsø University Museum at the Arctic University of Norway and Geir H. Mathiassen provided financial support. We are grateful to E.B. Gareth Jones who kindly provided help during the fieldwork, to Ove E. Eriksson who commented an earlier version of this manuscript, and to Paul Kirk for his nomenclatural support. Guy Marson is thanked for gaining sequences of Corticifraga peltigerae, Calloria urticae and Laetinaevia carneoflavida. Ekaterina Bubnova gave us information about the distribution of Calycina marina in Northwest Russia, and Robert Barrett improved the English.
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