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Mycologia. 2004 Jul-Aug;96(4):812-21.

The Ajellomycetaceae, a new family of vertebrate-associated Onygenales.

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  • 1Department of Botany, Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba, R7A 6A9 Canada.


Phylogenies inferred from the analysis of DNA sequence data have shown that the Onygenales contains clades that do not correspond with previously described families. One lineage identified in recent molecular phylogenetic studies includes the dimorphic pathogens belonging to the genera Ajellomyces, Emmonsia and Paracoccidioides. To evaluate the degree of support for this lineage and determine whether it includes additional taxa, we examined relationships among the members of this clade and selected saprobic onygenalean taxa based on maximum-parsimony analyses of partial nuclear large RNA subunit (LSU) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences. A clade distinct from the Onygenaceae was found to encompass Ajellomyces (including the anamorph genera Blastomyces, Emmonsia and Histoplasma) and Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. The members of this lineage are saprobic and pathogenic vertebrate-associated taxa distinguished by their globose ascomata with coiled appendages, muricate globose or oblate ascospores, and lack of keratinolytic activity. Anamorphs are solitary aleurioconidia or irregular alternate arthroconidia. Based on molecular data and on morphological and physiological similarities among these taxa, we propose the new family, Ajellomycetaceae.

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