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Amniculicola lignicola.
Amniculicola lignicola.
Image Credit: Yannick Mourgues and Ascofrance

Amniculicola lignicola Y. Zhang & K.D. Hyde (Amniculicolaceae) is a freshwater species with distinct morphological characters that place this fungus in the Pleosporales. These characters include melanized ostioles, trabeculate pseudoparaphyses, and fusiform ascospores covered by gelatinous sheaths. The fungus has been isolated from submerged ash and alder branches in France. Fungi play a major role in the decomposition of wood and leaf litter in forest ecosystems. Many of the dominant decayers are Basidiomycota producing extracellular enzymes involved in wood decay, which require aerobic conditions. Some Ascomycota and other anamorphic fungi degrade large amounts of submerged woody debris in lakes and streams, and their fungal biomass makes up to 75% in such habitats. The form of submerged decomposition has been classified as soft rot, which is also the prevalent decay mode of Ascomycota in terrestrial habitats. The genome data from Amniculicola lignicola will help characterizing aquatic wood decay in environments that do not offer oxygen in abundance.