Salt mines represent an extreme environment with hypersaline conditions, complete darkness, and low nutrient availability. The diversity of filamentous fungi in such habitats is largely unknown. Eight strains of an unknown fungus were isolated from water samples of the salt mine in Berchtesgaden (Bavaria, Germany). They could be assigned to the ascomycete genus Phialosimplex, based on their common characteristics of producing conidia in chains or in heads on single phialides. Species of this genus are hitherto known to cause mycoses in dogs and have been found in mummies. Using molecular and morphological methods, the isolates are established as a new species, Phialosimplex salinarum sp. nov. Basipetospora halophila is also transferred to Phialosimplex as P. halophila comb. nov.
Keywords: Basipetospora; ITS; TSR1; extremophile fungi; halophily; osmophily; salt tolerance.