The Peridial Development and Dehiscence Mechanism of Cryptendoxyla hypophloia, a Cleistothecial Ascomycete Isolated from the Bodies of Arthropods
International journal of plant sciences
Cryptendoxyla hypophloia is a rarely reported cleistothecial ascomycete that has a cephalothecoid peridium comprising six to eight plates that split apart at maturity to expose the ascospores. Three new isolates from the bodies of live-trapped insects represent circumstantial evidence supporting an older hypothesis that this fungus is dispersed by arthropods and provided fresh material in which to examine the development of the ascocarp and its unusual active dehiscence mechanism. Vegetative
... nism. Vegetative hyphae envelop coiled gametangia to form the earliest stages of the development of the peridium and then accommodate the increasing volume of the expanding centrum tissues by branching and tip growth. Peridial plates are defined early in ascocarp ontogeny and at maturity consist of thick-walled, radially arranged hyphae that have transverse wall thickenings. Cells between plates and underlying dehiscence lines are thin walled. On drying, the radially arranged hyphae of the outer peridial layer contract, rupturing the thin-walled cells around the periphery of each plate along previously formed dehiscence lines. As plates flatten and evert, the ascocarp opens to expose the ascospores, ostensibly for pickup by arthropod carriers. Meristematic growth could not be confirmed in the developing ascocarps of C. hypophloia even though it has been implicated in the growth of the peridium in other cephalothecoid taxa.