Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE)

Evolutionary 'construction sites' in Ustilaginomycotina


Kai Riess, Matthias Lutz, Sigisfredo Garnica

This project was initiated by Robert Bauer who passed away unexpectedly in 2014.



Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)


2013 - now

In a nutshell

In the last years, a modern classification system for the ustilagionid smut fungi has been developed. Nevertheless, there are some phylogenetic relationships at different taxonomic levels that need to be re-examined in light of combined morphological and molecular data.

Project description

In the last two decades, we established a new classification system of the Ustilaginomycotina (ustilaginoid smut fungi and close relatives), which is accepted worldwide. Based on this system, three further hypotheses could change the evolutionary perspective on the Fungi at different taxonomic levels. Using microscopical, ultrastructural and molecular phylogenetic analyses, we want to test the following hypotheses: (a) the Entorrhizales represents an independent evolutionary lineage beside Glomeromycota, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota and acts as the missing link between Glomeromycota and Dikarya; (b) the so-called gymnosperm smuts of the genus Uleiella represent a evolutionary lineage within the Basidiomycota beside Pucciniomycotina, Ustilaginomycotina und Agaricomycotina; and (c) the Ceraceosorales is the most basal lineage within the Ustilaginomycotina.