Neobarya usneae Etayo is a relatively uncommon lichenicolous fungus that forms distinctive obpyriform ascomata on species of Usnea. The species is one of five known lichenicolous species in Neobarya, a genus established in the Clavicipitaceae that contains a variety of mycoparasitic species. The only molecular data for Neobarya species available in GenBank are for unidentified Neobarya species. We obtained sequences of ITS and nrLSU representing a culture and herbarium specimens of N. usneae from New Brunswick, Canada, and from a herbarium specimen of N. parasitica (Fuckel) Lowen, the type species of the genus, collected in Luxembourg, to determine the phylogenetic placement of these species. Our results indicate that N. usneae is not closely related to the type of Neobarya in the Clavicipitaceae, but is instead a member of the Hypocreaceae, the first lichenicolous species known for certain from this Hypocrealean family. Based on these results, we are now establishing a new genus, Lichenobarya, for N. usneae in the Hypocreaceae, and encouraging further study of other Neobarya species to establish their phylogenetic relationships, given the potential for genetic heterogeneity in the group.
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Vol. 118 • No. 1