Syncephalis

SYNCEPHALIS van Tieghem & Le Monnier, 1873 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries V, 17: 372); 48 species (van Tieghem and Le Monnier, 1873; Benjamin, 1959, 1966, 1985b; Bawcutt, 1983; Gruhn and Petzold, 1991).
= Acephalis Badura & Badurowa, 1964 (Acta. Soc. Bot. Pol. 33: 519).
= Calvocephalis Bainier, 1882 (Étude sur les Mucorinées, p. 120).
= Microcephalis Bainier, 1882 (Étude sur les Mucorinées, p. 123).
= Monocephalis Bainier, 1882 (Étude sur les Mucorinées, p. 114).
= Syncephalidium Badura, 1963 (Allionia 9:179).
= Syncephalopsis Boedijn, 1959 (Sydowia 12:353).

Haustorial parasites of Mortierellales and Mucorales or less commonly an ascomycete. Forming relatively thin, coenocytic, aerial hyphae that may grow over the host. May induce the formation of lobed or multilobed vesicles. Sporangiophores with basal rhizoids and an apical fertile vesicle. Merosporangia one to many spored, formed directly on the vesicle or on sporiferous branchlets that arise from the vesicle. Spores variously shaped, smooth or ornamented. Zygospores more or less globose, ornamented; suspensors apposed, may be adorned with a multilobed vesicle.

Type species: S. cordata

Species of Syncephalis]:
S. adunca Vuillemin, 1903 (Ann. Mycol. 1:423) (Vuillemin, 1903).
S. agglutinospora M.S. Patil & B.J. Patil, 1994 (Indian Phytopathology 47:218) (Ho, 2003—identified as S. cf. ventricosa]]; Patil and Patil, 1994).
S. aggregata A.L. Santiago & Benny, 2011 (in Santiago, Benny and Maia, Mycologia 103:135) (Santiago et al., 2011).
S. annularis Kuzuha, 1973 (Transactions of the Mycological Society of Japan 14:243) (Kuzuha, 1973; Spinedi and Arambarri, 1986).
S. asymmetrica van Tieghem & Le Monnier, 1873 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries V, 17:375) (Benjamin, 1966; Christenberry, 1940; Indoh, 1962; van Tieghem and Le Monnier, 1873; Viriato and Trufem, 1985b; Vuillemin, 1902).
S. asymmetrica var. minuta M.S. Patil & B.J. Patil, 1994. (Indian Phytopathology 47:219) (Patil and Patil, 1994).
S. aurantiaca Vuillemin, 1902 (Bull. Mensuel Séances Soc. Sci. Nancy, Séries 3, 3:36) (Vuillemin, 1902).
S. basibulbosa Kuzuha, 1973 (Transactions of the Mycological Society of Japan 14:241) (Kuzuha, 1973).
S. bispora Raciborski, 1909 (Bulletin International de l’Académie des Sciences de Cracovie. Classe des Sciences, Mathématiques et naturelles 1909:347) (B.S. Mehrotra and Prasad, 1967a; Raciborski, 1909).
Syncephalopsis bispora (Raciborski) Boedijn, 1959 (Sydowia 12:353)
S. californica W.E. Hunter & E.E. Butler, 1975 (Mycologia 67:863) (Hunter and Butler, 1975; Hunter et al., 1977—parasitism)
S. clavata H.M. Ho & Benny, 2007 (Botanical Studies 48:319) (Ho and Benny, 2007).
S. confusa S.S. Patil & B.J. Patil, 1994 (Indian Phytopathology 47:220) (Patil and Patil, 1994).
S. cordata van Tieghem & Le Monnier, 1873 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries V, 17:374) (Bainier, 1882; Christenberry, 1940; Kuzuha, 1973; Schröter, 1893; van Tieghem and le Monnier, 1873; Vuillemin, 1902).
[Syncephalis cordata van Tiegh. & Le Monn. var. minor Schroeter, 1886 (in Cohn’s Kryptogamen-Fl. Schles. 3(2): 216);
= a synonym of Syncephalis asymmetrica fide Fischer (1892)].
S. cornu van Tieghem & Le Monnier, 1873 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries V, 17:376) (Benjamin, 1959, 1966; Benjamin and Tucker, 1978; Cano et al., 1989; Christenberry, 1940; Ho, 2003; Indoh, 1962; B.S. Mehrotra and Prasad, 1965; Mil’ko, 1974; O’Donnell, 1979; Ou, 1940; Thaxter, 1897—zygospore; Trufem, 1984; van Tieghem, 1875; van Tieghem and Le Monnier, 1873).
S. curvata Bainier, 1882 ([Étude sur les Mucorinées, p. 114) non Syncephalis curvata Bainier, 1883 (Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., Sér. VI, 15:93) (Bainier, 1882, 1883; Vuillemin, 1903).
S. depressa van Tieghem & Le Monnier, 1873 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries V, 17:375) (Bainier, 1882; Benjamin, 1966; Christenberry, 1940; Ho, 2000; Indoh, 1962; Mehrotra and Prasad, 1964; Mil’ko, 1974; O’Donnell, 1979; van Tieghem and Le Monnier, 1873).
S. drechslerii B.S. Mehrotra & Prasad, 1965 [1966] (Sydowia 19: 113). NOTE: a synonym of S. tenuis fide Kuzuha (1973).
S. fasciculata van Tieghem, 1875 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries VI, 1:130) (van Tieghem, 1875).
S. formosana H.M. Ho & Benny, 2007 (Bot. Studies 48:321) (Ho and Benny, 2007).
S. furcata van Tieghem, 1878 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries VI, 4:386) (Mehrotra and Prasad, 1965; Spinedi and Arambarri, 1986; van Tieghem, 1878).
S. fuscata Indoh, 1962 (Science Reports of the Tokyo Kyoiku Daigaku, Section B, 11:12) (Indoh, 1962; Kuzuha, 1973; Spinedi and Arambarri, 1986).
S. fusiger Bainier, 1882 (Étude sur les Mucorinées, p. 123) non Syncephalis fusiger Bainier, 1883 (Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., Sér. VI, 15:98) (Bainier, 1882, 1883).
Microcephalis fusiger, 1882 (Étude sur les Mucorinées, p. 123)
S. glabra Morini, 1902 (Mem. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna, Ser. V, 9:233) (Morini, 1902).
S. heteriformis Pasricha & Mukerji, 1987 (Nova Hedwigia 44:523) (Pasricha and Mukerji, 1987).
S. hyalina (Matruchot) von Höhnel, Sitzungsber. Kaiserl. Akad. Wiss., Math.-Naturwiss. Cl., Abt. 1, 111:1040, 1902.
Gliocephalis hyalina Matruchot, Bull. Soc. Mycol. France 15:259, 1899. Syncephalis hyalina is an anamorphic ascomycete according to Benjamin (1959); confirmed by Jacobs et al. (2005).
S. hypogena R.K. Benjamin, 1985 (Aliso 11:4) (Benjamin, 1985; Ginman and Young, 1991).
S. indica Singh & Sarbhoy, 1976 (Zbl. Bakt., Abt. II, 131:201) (Singh and Sarbhoy, 1976).
S. intermedia van Tieghem, 1875 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries VI, 1:127) (van Tieghem, 1875).
S. leadbeaterii Bawcutt, 1983 (Trans. Brit. Mycol. Soc. 80:220) (Bawcutt, 1983).
S. minima van Tieghem& Le Monnier, 1873 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries V, 17:376) (Christenberry, 1940; van Tieghem and Le Monnier, 1873).
S. nana Dade, 1938 (Trans. Brit. Mycol. Soc. 21:23) (Benjamin, 1959; Dade, 1938).
S. naumovii Cano & Guarro, 1989 (Nova Hedwigia 49:429) (Cano et al., 1989).
= ?[Syncephalis tranzschelii Naumov, 1935 ([nom. nud., Art 36.1, without a Latin diagnosis) fide Cano et al. (1989) (Naumov, 1954).
S. nigricans van Tieghem, 1878 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries VI, 4:387) (van Tieghem, 1878).
S. nodosa van Tieghem, 1875 (Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot. Séries VI, 1:131) (Bainier, 1882, 1883; Benjamin, 1959, 1966; Christenberry, 1940; Indoh, 1962; Morini, 1902; O’Donnell, 1979; Patil and Patil, 1994; Thaxter, 1897; van Tieghem, 1875; Vuillemin, 1902).
Calvocephalis nodosa Bainier, 1882 ([Étude sur les Mucorinées, p. 120).
S. obconica Indoh, 1962 (Science Reports of the Tokyo Kyoiku Daigaku, Section B, 11:18) (Ho, 2001; Indoh, 1962; Kuzuha, 1973; Patil and Patil, 1994; Spinedi and Arambarri, 1986).
S. obliqua H.M. Ho & Benny, 2007 (Botanical Studies 49:45) (Ho and Benny, 2008).
S. parvula Gruhn, 1991 (in Gruhn and Petzold, Canadian Journal of Microbiology 37:356) (Gruhn and Petzold, 1991; Ho, 2002).
S. pendula van Tieghem, 1878 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries VI, 4:388) (van Tieghem, 1878).
S. penicillata Indoh, 1962 (Science Reports of the Tokyo Kyoiku Daigaku, Section B, 11:8) (Indoh, 1962; Viriato and Trufem, 1985).
S. plumigaleata Embree, 1965 (American Journal of Botany 52:737) (Embree, 1965; B.S. Mehrotra and Prasad, 1967b; Mil’ko, 1974).
S. pycnosperma Thaxter, 1897 [Botanical Gazette (Crawfordsville) 24:11] (Badura, 1963; Benjamin, 1959; Thaxter, 1897).
S. pycnosperma var. subglobosa B.S. Mehrotra & Prasad, 1967 (Mycopath. Mycol. Appl. 32:199) (Mehrotra and Prasad, 1967a).
S. pygmae M.S. Patil & B.J. Patil, 1994. Indian Phytopathology 47:222) (Patil and Patil, 1994).
S. radiata (Badura & Badurowa) Skirgiello & Zadara, 1979 (Sydowia Beiheft 8:366) (Skirgiello and Zadara, 1979).
Acephalis radiata Badura & Badurowa, 1964 (Acta Soc. Bot. Pol. 33:519) (Badura and Badurowa, 1964).
S. ramosa van Tieghem, 1875 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries VI, 1:129) (van Tieghem, 1875).
S. rapacea Indoh, 1962 (Science Reports of the Tokyo Kyoiku Daigaku, Section B, 11:6) (Indoh, 1962; B.S. Mehrotra and Prasad, 1967b).
S. reflexa van Tieghem, 1875 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries VI, 1:134) (Bainier, 1882; Christenberry, 1940; B.S. Mehrotra and Prasad, 1967b; Thaxter, 1897; van Tieghem, 1875).
S. rosetta Prasad & B.S. Mehrotra, 1979 (Nova Hedwigia Beiheft 53:34) (Prasad and B.S. Mehrotra, 1979).
S. sphaerica van Tieghem, 1875 (Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot. Séries VI, 1:125) (Baker et al., 1977a, 1977b; Benjamin, 1966; Christenberry, 1940; Ho, 2001; Indoh, 1962; Kuzuha, 1980; O’Donnell, 1979; van Tieghem, 1875; Viriato and Trufem, 1985b).
S. tengii Ou, 1940 (Sinensia 11:48) (Ou, 1940; Patil and Patil, 1994; Trufem, 1984; Viriato and Trufem, 1985b).
S. tenuis Thaxter, 1897 [Botanical Gazette (Crawfordsville) 24:12) (Benjamin 1959; Ho, 2002; Kuzuha, 1975, 1980; Mehrotra and Prasad, 1965; Spinedi and Arambarri, 1986; Thaxter, 1897).
= ?[Syncephalis drechslerii B.S. Mehrotra & Prasad, 1965 (Sydowia 19:113) (B.S. Mehrotra and Prasad, 1965). NOTE—a synonym of S. tenuis fide Kuzuha (1973) (Drechsler, 1961).
S. tetraspora M.S. Patil & B.J. Patil, 1994. Indian Phytopathology 47:223) (Patil and Patil, 1994).
S. tetrathela van Tieghem, 1875 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries VI, 1:134) (van Tieghem, 1875).
S. torpedospora Gruhn, 1991 (in Gruhn and Petzold, Canadian Journal of Microbiology 37:355) (Gruhn and Petzold, 1991).
[[S. tranzschelii Naumov, 1935 ([Opredelitel Mukorovych (Mucorales), p. 104)[[nomen nudum, without a Latin diagnosis].
S. trispora B.S. Mehrotra & Prasad, 1967 (Sydowia 21:125) (B.S. Mehrotra and Prasad, 1967b).
S. truncata Boedijn, 1958 (Sydowia 12: 352) (Boedijn, 1958; Patil and Patil, 1994).
S. ubatubensis A.P. Viégas & A.R. Teixeira, 1943 (Bragantia 3:243) (Viégas and Teixeira, 1943)
S. ventricosa van Tieghem, 1875 (Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries VI, 1:133) (Ho, 2003—probably S. agglutinospora; van Tieghem, 1875).
S. viridis Faurel & Schotter, 1965 (Cahier de Maboké 3:127).
S. vivipara B.S. Mehrotra & Prasad, 1969 (Sydowia 23:92) (B.S. Mehrotra and Prasad, 1969).
S. wynneae Thaxter, 1897 [Botanical Gazette (Crawfordsville) 24:11) (Benjamin, 1959; Thaxter, 1897, 1905—host is the discomycete Wynnea americana]).

Syncephalis can be isolated from any habitat that also supports the growth of a suitable host. Over 50 species have been described since van Tieghem and Le Monnier (1873) described the first species in the genus. Several species are not members of the genus but they appear to Deuteromycetes or they are so poorly described and illustrated that cannot be considered valid. Many genera are considered synonyms of Syncephalis (Benjamin, 1959, 1985).

Members of Syncephalis occur in dung but are relatively common in soil. The most common species in soil are S. depressa, S. cornu, S. nodosa, and S. sphaerica. Many other taxa can be encountered using a relatively nutrient-poor culture medium, such as one-tenth strength wheat germ agar (Wg10), antibiotics and benomyl to keep moniliaceous deuteromycetes from growing (Strauss et al., 2000). With this emended Wg10 agar many other relatively small species of Syncephalis can be observed and isolated including S. basibulbosa, S. leadbeaterii, and S. parvula, Larger species, such as S. plumigaleata have also been noted in some soils. Ellis (1966) was able to grow some isolates of Syncephalis in cultures without a host.

Microscope slides of Syncephalis spp., and other Zygomycetes, can be made using the procedures outlined in Benny and Blackwell (2004), and Krug et al. (2004). Longer lasting slides can be made using lactic acid + 0.05% trypan blue (Phillips and Hayman, 1970).

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Updated May 18, 2011