New species of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, an ubiquitous pathogen of ants from Thailand.

Fungal Biol 2015 Jan 6;119(1):44-52. Epub 2014 Nov 6.

Microbe Interaction Laboratory, National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), 113 Thailand Science Park, Phahonyothin Road, Khlong Nueng, Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani 12120, Thailand.

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is an ubiquitous pathogen of ants with hidden phylogenetic diversity associated with host specificity. In this study, we describe two new species to this species complex: Ophiocordyceps septa and Ophiocordyceps rami. Both were found on unidentified ants of the genus Camponotus (C. sp.1 and C. sp2 respectively). Ophiocordyceps septa is very similar to Ophiocordyceps polyrhachis-furcata, Ophiocordyceps camponoti-leonardi, and Ophiocordyceps camponoti-saundersi (found respectively on the ants Polyrhachis furcata, Camponotus leonardi, and Camponotus saundersi) but differs in the size, the shape and the septation of the ascospores, while O. rami is clearly identifiable with macro-morphological features including multiple stromata similar to Ophiocordyceps halabalaensis on Camponotus gigas. A thorough morphological examination was also provided for O. polyrhachis-furcata, O. camponoti-leonardi, and O. camponoti saundersi, showing that the first was apparently distinguishable from the others by the absence of septation of the ascospores. A combined molecular phylogeny also supports O. septa and O. rami as distinct new species.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.funbio.2014.10.008DOI Listing
January 2015
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