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Lichenochora verrucicola (Wedd.) Nik. Hoffm. & Hafellner
Family: Phyllachoraceae
[Verrucaria verrucicola Wedd.]
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Mycelium: immersed, hyaline, inconspicuous itself but inducing the formation of galls on the host thallus; galls: irregular, concolorous with the host thallus containing several ascomata and/or conidiomata Perithecia: entirely or partly immersed in the galls, black and with the exposed parts rough, 250-350 µm high and 200-250 µm broad, with many lipid droplets in all parts; wall: dark brown throughout, 30-50 µm in diam., composed of 4-6 layers of tangentially arranged cells hymenium: hyaline, seemingly inspersed but droplets originating from cells damaged by sectioning or squashing hamathecium: present as paraphyses and periphyses paraphyses: hyaline, 4-8 µm thick, branching and anastomosing, with delicate walls, dissolving in older ascomata periphyses: numerous, mostly unbranched, c. 4 µm thick asci: unitunicate, clavate, with 75-95 x 15-20 µm, 4-8 spored ascospores: hyaline, simple, variable in shape but mostly ellipsoid to oblong, 20-32 x 6-11 µm Pycnidia: immersed in the galls in between the perithecia, ovoid, c. 200 µm high and c. 120 µm broad, with many lipid droplets in all parts; conidiophores: mostly simple, lining the lower part of the cavity; conidiogenous cells: terminal, flask-shaped conidia: filiform, c. 20 x 2 µm, embedded in a gel. Hosts: thallus of Aspicilia species, inducing the formation of galls; hosts known outside the Sonoran region: Aspicilia cinerea and A. contorta subsp. hoffmanniana World distribution: Europe (France, Spain) and North America (U.S.A.) Sonoran distribution: so far known only from a single locality in northern Arizona. Notes: Non-septate ascospores are an unusual character in Lichenochora. Besides L. verrucicola only one further species has been described, L. collematum, an inhabitant of Collema with significantly narrower ascospores, so far known only from Svalbard. Aspicilia species can also be infested by L. aprica, a disporous species whose infections do not induce the formation of galls.