During an arbuscular mycorrhiza fungal spore survey on a primary coastal sand-dune system in Goa on the west coast of India, entrophosporoid spores tightly covered with a dense hyphal mantle were recovered. When intact, the spores, at first sight, seemed to be identical in morphology to those of Sacculospora baltica (originally described as Entrophospora baltica) extracted from Polish maritime sand dunes and, to date, the sole member of the recently described genus Sacculospora in the new family Sacculosporaceae, phylum Glomeromycota. Later detailed morphological studies indicated that both fungi produce two-walled spores but the structure and phenotypic features of components of the outer spore wall in the novel fungus differ considerably from those of S. baltica. Differences between the fungi were subsequently confirmed in the phylogenetic analysis of SSU–ITS–LSU nrDNA sequences. Consequently, we describe the novel species as Sacculospora felinovii sp. nov.
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- Entrophosporoid spore
- Molecular phylogeny
- Tropical coastal dunes