Escovopsis Trichodermoides Sp. Nov., Isolated From a Nest of the Lower Attine Ant Mycocepurus Goeldii

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2015 Mar;107(3):731-40. doi: 10.1007/s10482-014-0367-1. Epub 2015 Jan 10.


Currently, five species are formally described in Escovopsis, a specialized mycoparasitic genus of fungus gardens of attine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: tribe Attini). Four species were isolated from leaf-cutting ants in Brazil, including Escovopsis moelleri and Escovopsis microspora from nests of Acromyrmex subterraneus molestans, Escovopsis weberi from a nest of Atta sp. and Escovopsis lentecrescens from a nest of Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus. The fifth species, Escovopsis aspergilloides was isolated from a nest of the higher attine ant Trachymyrmex ruthae from Trinidad. Here, we describe a new species, Escovopsis trichodermoides isolated from a fungus garden of the lower attine ant Mycocepurus goeldii, which differs from the five other species by highly branched, trichoderma-like conidiophores lacking swollen vesicles, with reduced conidiogenous cells and distinctive conidia morphology. Phylogenetic analyses based on partial tef1 gene sequences support the distinctiveness of this species. A portion of the internal transcribed spacers of the nuclear rDNA was sequenced to serve as a DNA barcode. Future molecular and morphological studies in this group of fungi will certainly unravel the taxonomic diversity of Escovopsis associated with fungus-growing ants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ants
  • Brazil
  • Cluster Analysis
  • DNA, Fungal / chemistry
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • DNA, Helminth / chemistry
  • DNA, Helminth / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal Spacer / chemistry
  • DNA, Ribosomal Spacer / genetics
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Hypocreales / classification*
  • Hypocreales / cytology
  • Hypocreales / genetics
  • Hypocreales / isolation & purification*
  • Microbiological Techniques
  • Microscopy
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1 / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spores, Fungal / cytology


  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Helminth
  • DNA, Ribosomal Spacer
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1

Associated data

  • GENBANK/KF033128
  • GENBANK/KF033129
  • GENBANK/KJ485699