Biodiversity Data Journal : Taxonomy & Inventories
Taxonomy & Inventories
Menisporopsis aquatica sp. nov. (Sordariomycetes, Chaetosphaeriales, Chaetosphaeriaceae), from freshwater habitat in China
expand article infoJia-Hao Chen‡,§,|, Dian-Ming Hu‡,¶,§,|, Hai-Yan Song#, Zhi-Jun Zhai‡,§,|, Lin Lai‡,§,|, Kang-Hui Lin‡,§,|
‡ Bioengineering and Technological Research Centre for Edible and Medicinal Fungi, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, China
§ Jiangxi Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Fungal Resources, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, China
| College of Bioscience and Bioengineering, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, China
¶ Jiangxi Forest Fungi Resources Comprehensive Development Engineering Research Center, Jiangxi Environmental Engineering Vocational College, Ganzhou, China
# Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology, Ecology and Genetic Breeding (Jiangxi Agricultural University), Ministry of Education of the P.R. China, Nanchang, China
Open Access



Freshwater fungi are an integral part of freshwater ecosystems. They promote the carbon cycle of the ecosystem by decomposing wood substrates. Menisporopsis is a fungal genus of Chaetosphaeriales in Sordariomycetes, which has been commonly collected from aquatic and marine environments. Most species of this genus are saprophytes.

New information

Here, a new freshwater hyphomycetous fungus, Menisporopsis aquatica, reported from submerged rotten wood samples collected in a stream in Zhejiang Province, south-eastern China. The new species is characterised by hyaline conidia appendiculate with 1-2 setulae at each end and synnematous conidiophores growing closely around a black central seta. Molecular phylogeny of Menisporopsis was studied using a combined two-loci dataset, including the internal transcribed spacer sequences (ITS) and the nuclear ribosomal large subunit gene sequences (nrLSU). The new species is illustrated and a synopsis of the Menisporopsis species is presented in this paper.


agamotype, Ascomycota, freshwater fungi, menisporopsis, taxonomy


The genus Menisporopsis S. Hughes (Ascomycota, Sordariomycetes, Chaetosphaeriales, Chaetosphaeriaceae) was first introduced by Hughes (1952) with Menisporopsis theobromae S. Hughes as the type species, which was isolated from decaying leaves of Theobroma cacao L. (Malvaceae) in Ghana. The members of Menisporopsis are readily recognised by fungi with pigmented, synnematous conidiophores growing around a central, simple, dark brown seta. The conidiogenous cells are phialidic, producing lunate to falcate, 0- to 1-septate conidia with one to several setulae inserted at the ends or irregularly. The second species, M. novae-zelandiae S. Hughes & W.B. Kendr, was described by Hughes and Kendrick (1968). Later, eleven species were included in Menisporopsis, i.e. M. profusa (Pirozynski and Hodges 1973), M. pirozynskii (Varghese and Rao 1978), M. ludoviciana (Kirk and Sutton 1985), M. pleiosetosa (Rao and Hoog 1986), M. multisetulata (Tsui et al. 1999), M. trisetulosa (Siboe et al. 1999), M. anisospora (Castañeda-Ruiz et al. 2001), M. kobensis (Matsushima 2003), M. pandanicola (Tibpromma et al. 2018), M. dushanensis (Lin 2019) and M. breviseta (Lin 2019). A total of thirteen species of Menisporopsis have been reported so far. Menisporopsis ludoviciana, combined Chaetopsina ludoviciana J.L. Crane & Schokn, exhibits a branched seta and the conidiophores do not surround the bristles; thus it is distinct from the other twelve species of the genus (Kirk and Sutton 1985). Based on morphology, M. ludoviciana (Kirk and Sutton 1985) should belong to the genus Vermiculariopsiella Bender (Castañeda-Ruiz et al. 1997). Tsui et al. (1999) and Castañeda-Ruiz et al. (2001), therefore, excluded M. ludoviciana from Menisporopsis.

Based on the phylogenetic tree and morphology preliminary studies, Menisporopsis, Codinaea, Codinaeopsis, Menispora and Thozetella formed a robust clade within Chaetosphaeriaceae (Réblová and Seifert 2008). During a long-term investigation of freshwater fungi in China (Hu et al. 2012, Huang et al. 2016, Song et al. 2018, Song et al. 2020, Li et al. 2021), a fungus was collected and described as a new species in this paper.

Materials and methods

Morphological examination, Isolation and cultivation

Specimens of submerged decaying wood were collected from a stream in Qianjia Lou Brook, Daoxu Town, Shangyu District, Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province (30.049834N, 120.779092E, altitude 11 m). Samples were taken to the laboratory in sample bags and incubated in plastic boxes at 25°C for two weeks, allowing the formation of fungifruiting bodies on decaying wood to grow under high humidity. Fungal fruiting bodies were examined with a Nikon Ni dissecting microscope. Observations and photographs were made from materials mounted in water with a Nikon Ni compound microscope (Hu et al. 2011). Pure cultures were obtained using a single spore isolation following the method described by Liu et al. (2010). The fungal conidial isolates were cultured on potato dextrose agar (PDA) in a 25℃ incubator to obtain the pure strain. The dried specimens were deposited in the Herbarium of Fungi, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, China (HFJAU).

DNA extraction, sequencing and phylogenetic analyses

Genomic DNA was extracted from pure fungal mycelium growning on PDA following the method described by Hu et al. (2011). We amplified two nrDNA regions: the internal transcribed spacer region of ribosomal DNA (ITS) with the primer pair ITS1 & ITS4 (White et al. 1989) and the nuclear ribosomal large subunit DNA (nrLSU) with primer pair LROR & LR5 (Vilgalys and Hester 1990). The PCR products were sequenced by the same primers used for PCR at Changsha Branch of Tsingke Biotechnology Co., Ltd.

We generated four novel sequences (OM049834, OM049835, OM049836, OM049837) and retrieved twenty-six sequences from GenBank (Table 1). Alignments for each locus were done with MAFFT v.7.307 online version (Katoh and Standley 2016). The Maximum Likelihood (ML) phylogenetic analyses were produced with RAxML v.7.2.6 (Stamatakis and Alachiotis 2010) using a GTRGAMMA substitution model with 1000 bootstrap replicates and evaluated by bootstrap support (MLBS).

Table 1.

Isolates included in the phylogenetic analyses.

Species Strains Status1 GenBank accession numbers
Dictyochaeta aquatica MFLU 15-2691 T NG_067563 NR_158452
Dictyochaeta assamica CBS 242.66 MH870426 MH858788
Dictyochaeta callimorpha ICMP 15170 MT454500 MT454485
Dictyochaeta cangshanensis MFLU 18-1614 NG_068636 NR_168801
Dictyochaeta coryli MFLU 19-1387 NG_073859 NR_171096
Dictyochaeta curvispora CBS 114070 MH862954
Dictyochaeta detriticola ICMP 14948 MT454501 MT454486
Dictyochaeta ellipsoidea MFLU 18-1612 NG_068633 NR_168798
Dictyochaeta fertilis CBS 624.77 AF178540
Dictyochaeta fuegiana ICMP 15153 MT454487
Dictyochaeta lignicola MFLU 18-1613 NG_068634 NR_168799
Dictyochaeta lithocarpi MFLUCC 17-2228 NG_073858 NR_171095
Dictyochaeta mimusopis CBS 143435 MH107935 MH107888
Dictyochaeta montana CBS 145342 MT454502 NR_172307
Dictyochaeta pandanicola KUMCC 16-0153 T MH376710 MH388338
Dictyochaeta querna CBS 146103 MT454504 MT454490
Dictyochaeta septata CBS 143386 MH107936 MH107889
Dictyochaeta siamensis MFLU 15-1149 NG_059142 NR_154016
Dictyochaeta simplex CBS 623.68 MH878418 MH859497
Dictyochaeta stratosa CBS 138739 MT454505 NR_172308
Dictyochaeta submersa MFLU 18-2321 NG_068635 NR_168800
Dictyochaeta terminalis MFLU 19-0214 T NG_067903 NR_166297
Leptosporella arengae MFLUCC 15-0330 MG272246 MG272255
Leptosporella bambusae MFLUCC 12-0846 KU863122 KU940134
Menisporopsis anisospora CBS 109475 T MH874421 MH862827
Menisporopsis aquatica JAUCC4863 OM049834 OM049837
Menisporopsis aquatica JAUCC4864 OM049835 OM049836
Menisporopsis breviseta MFLU 19-0212 T NG_070469 NR_166296
Menisporopsis dushanensis MFLU 19-0213 T NG_070470 NR_166299
Menisporopsis pandanicola KUMCC 17-0271 T MH376726 MH388353
Menisporopsis pirozynskii MUCL 47217 MW984561 MW984579
Menisporopsis theobromae MUCL 40984 MW984563 MW984581

For Bayesian Inference analysis, the best-fit model of evolution was determined using MrModelTest v.2 (Nylander 2004). Posterior probabilities (PP) (Zhaxybayeva and Gogarten 2002) were determined by Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling (BMCMC) in MrBayes 3.0b4 (Huelsenbeck and Ronquist 2001). Two parallel runs with six simultaneous Markov chains were run for 1,000,000 generations, with trees sampled every 100 generations. The first 25% were deleted as burn-in and the posterior probabilities were calculated, based on the remaining trees. The novel taxonomic descriptions and nomenclature were deposited in MycoBank (

Phylogenetic results

Four new sequences from the strain of a new taxon (OM049834, OM049835, OM049836, OM049837) included two nrLSU and two ITS sequences. The phylogenetic tree of the Menisporopsis was constructed, based on the two-loci analysis (Fig. 2). The genetic relationships of a new taxon and other related species were shown. The concatenated aligned dataset comprised twelve species isolates from six Menisporopsis species and the isolate of Leptosporella arengae and Leptosporella bambusae (Sordariomycetes) as the outgroups. The dataset including alignment gaps comprised 1408 characters: 568 for ITS and 840 for nrLSU. The combined dataset ML tree with bootstrap support values (MLBS) and Bayesian posterior probabilities (BPP) indicates some well-supported clades, with the Menisporopsis aquatica strain forming the well-supported clade (MLBS = 90%, BPP = 0.75) with other Menisporopsis species.

Figure 1.  

Menisporopsis aquatica (HFJAU 10038, Holotype) a-b conidiophores and conidia on submerged wood; c conidiophores with seta; d apex of the conidiophore with developing conidia; e base of the conidiophore; f seta; g-j conidia; k colony on PDA. Scale bars: a-b = 100 µm, c = 50 µm, d-j = 10 µm.

Figure 2.  

Phylogenetic tree (RAxML) obtained from the DNA sequence data of ITS and LSU sequences of 32 strains showing taxa in Menisporopsis and Dictyochaeta. The new isolates are shown in bold, red. The MP and ML bootstrap values (BS) ≥ 75% and Bayesian posterior probabilities (PP) ≥ 0.95 are presented at the nodes. The scale bar shows the number of estimated mutations per site. The tree was rooted to Leptosporella arengae (MFLUCC 15-0330) and Leptosporella bambusae (MFLUCC 12-0846).

Taxon treatment

Menisporopsis aquatica sp. nov.

Material   Download as CSV 
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    Menisporopsis aquatica
    ; acceptedNameUsage:
    Menisporopsis aquatica J.H. Chen, H.Y. Song & D.M. Hu, 2022, sp. nov
    ; parentNameUsage:
    Menisporopsis theobromae S. Hughes 1952
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    J.H. Chen, H.Y. Song & D.M. Hu
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    ; locality:
    Qianjia Lou Brook
    ; verbatimElevation:
    11 m
    ; locationRemarks:
    Label transliteration: " Zhejiang, Qianjia Lou Brook, 27/10/2020, Chen Jia-Hao"; [浙江省绍兴市上虞区钱家溇小溪,27/10/2020,陈家豪]
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    30.0498 N, 120.7790 E
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    Jia-Hao Chen
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    Dian-Ming Hu
    ; institutionID:
    HFJAU 10038
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    the Herbarium of Fungi, Jiangxi Agricultural University (HFJAU)
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    the Herbarium of Fungi, Jiangxi Agricultural University (HFJAU)
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Colonies on submerged rotten wood effuse, scattered, pale yellow to pale brown. Mycelium partly immersed, consisting of branched, septate, smooth, thin- to thick-walled, composed of brown hyphae. Asexual morph: Stroma and hyphopodia absent. Setae simple, central, solitary, erect, straight, subulate, unbranched, dark brown, 10–12 septate, smooth, thin to thick-walled, swollen at the apex, the lower part of setae encased by numerous tightly compacted conidiophores, 170–324 μm long, 4.8–7.6 μm wide at the base. Conidiophores macronematous, synnematous, brown, smooth, thin-walled, separate, unbranched, cylindrical, erect, straight or slightly flexuous, up to 106 μm long, upper part 1.7–3.5 μm thick. Conidiogenous cells monophialidic, integrated, terminal, pale brown, cylindrical, with collarettes phialides. Conidia acrogenous, semi-endogenous, appendiculate with 6–12 μm long setulae at each end, aggregated into slimy masses at the apex of the synnemata, aseptate, curved, lunate or fusiform, hyaline, smooth, 14–20 μm (av. = 16.5 μm, n = 30) long, 2.4–3.3 μm (av. = 2.7 μm, n = 30) wide. Sexual morph: Undetermined (Fig. 1).


Refers to the fungal freshwater habitat.


Menisporopsis aquatica is characterised by synnematous conidiophores growing around a black central seta, which fits well with the genus concept of Menisporopsis (Hughes 1952). The phylogenetic results showed that our collection clustered with other Menisporopsis species and formed a robust clade.

Menisporopsis aquatica is close to Menisporopsis breviseta and Menisporopsis pandanicola in the phylogenetic tree (Fig. 2). Menisporopsis aquatica is also morphologically similar to M. breviseta in having lunate or fusiform, hyaline conidia appendiculate with 1–2 setulae at each end. However, M. aquatica differs from M. breviseta by its longer setae (M. aquatica 170–324 × 4.8–7.6 μm vs. M. breviseta 95–190 × 2.7–5.4 μm) and the longer setulae (M. aquatica 6-12 μm vs. M. breviseta 4-9 μm). Menisporopsis aquatica is morphologically similar to M. pandanicol, but differs in its shorter setae (M. aquatica 170–324 × 4.8–7.6 μm vs M. multisetulata 344–375 × 7–10.5 μm). Menisporopsis aquatica can be distinguished from other Menisporopsis species by its conidia with 1–2 setula at each end (Table 2).

Table 2.

Synopsis of the Menisporopsis species described to date.









Size (μm)


Size (μm)

M. anisospora

200–425 × 10–12

300–550 × 60–80

Allantoid to irregular, truncate at base

17.0–30.0 × 2.0–6.0

1 at each end; 1-3 lateral

Apical: 4.0–11.0; basal: 3.0-10.0

M. aquatica

170–324 × 4.8–7.6

106 × 1.7–3.5

Lunate or fusiform

14.9–19.9 × 2.4–3.3

1-2 basal; 1 apical


M. breviseta

95–190 × 2.7–5.4

182 × 2.5–4.6

Cylindrical or fusiform

14.2–24.3 × 2.4–3.6

1-2 setulae at each end


M. dushanensis

207–455 × 5–10.5

147 × 2.5–6

Cylindrical or fusiform

14.0–21 × 3–4

1-2 setulae at each end


M. kobensis

195–275 × 6.0–7.5


Allantoid to lunate

16.0–32.0 × 3.0–5.0

1 at each end


M. multisetulata

300–500 × 6–10

180–220 × 22–40


12.0–19.0 × 2.5–4.0

3–4 basal; 2–3 apical


M. pandanicola

344–375 × 7–10.5

85–100 × 14.5–23

Cylindrical, lunate

8–29 × 0.5–2

(1–)2 setula at each end


M pirozynskii

132–450 × 3–14

35–250 × 12–60

Cylindrical to lunate

12.0–20.5 × 2.0-4.5

1–3 basal; 2 apical


M. pleiosetosa

100–300 × 3–4

≤ 250 × 30–40

Ellipsoidal, truncated at base

12.0–18.0 × 4.0–5.0

2–4 basal; 1 apical

≤ 6.0

M. profusa

150–425 × 4.5–9.0

60–225 × 12.5–18

Cylindrical, allantoid to lunate

7.0–15.0 × 1.2–2.5

1 at each end


M. theobromae

105–460 × 4.5–7.5

55–170 × 12–35

Lunate to falcate

11.0–20.0 × 1.5–4.0

1 at each end


M. trisetulosa

250–460 × 5.5–7.5



12.0–20.0 × 2.0

2 basal; 1 apical

ca. 10.0


Funds for research were provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC 32070023 and NSFC 32060014), the Key Projects of Youth Fund of Jiangxi Science and Technology Department of China (20192ACBL21017), Natural Science Foundation of Education Department of Jiangxi Province of China (GJJ190168).


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