Systematic revision of the Tubifera casparyi–T. dictyoderma complex: Resurrection of the genus Siphoptychium and introduction of the new genus Thecotubifera
The genus Siphoptychium is resurrected on the basis of comparative morphology and phylogeny of partial nuc 18S rDNA (18S) and translation elongation factor 1-alpha (EF1A) nucleotide sequences. The genus is characterized by the firm upper surface of the pseudoaethalium, accreted but easily separable sporothecae, a tubular or fibrous columella, and spores with a reticulate ornamentation consisting of 7–9 meshes across the diameter. In addition to the currently known single species S. casparyi (= Tubifera casparyi), two new members of Siphoptychium are described: S. violaceum from coniferous forests of Europe, east Asia, and southeast Asia, and S. reticulatum from temperate and subarctic regions of North America and alpine regions of Europe. A second genus, Thecotubifera, is described to accommodate Tubifera dictyoderma. The fruiting body of this species is transitional between a pseudoaethalium and a true aethalium. It is covered by a contiguous membranous cortex formed by the fused tips of the sporothecae, a feature typical for aethalia. However, the inner portions of sporothecae remain discernible, a feature more typical for pseudoaethalia. Columellae of Th. dictyoderma are formed by perforated plates, and the spores have a reticulate ornamentation consisting of 2–5 meshes across the diameter. For Th. dictyoderma, we could confirm records only for tropical regions and Japan, whereas all studied European specimens, including those mentioned in current monographs, represent species of Siphoptychium.