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Schussler, Arthur and Walker, Christopher (2019): Archaeospora ecuadoriana sp. nov. from a mountainous biodiversity hotspot area in Ecuador, and transfer of Palaeospora spainiae to Archaeospora, as A. spainiae comb. nov. In: Mycorrhiza, Vol. 29, No. 5: pp. 435-443

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A new glomeromycotan fungus, Archaeospora ecuadoriana sp. nov., was found in the south Ecuadorian mountain rainforest region, a global plant biodiversity hotspot. It was cultivated as single spore isolate originating from nursery-grown native tree seedlings inoculated with mixed soil from pristine forest and agricultural fields. The new species is known from the Loja area, southern Ecuador, at about 2100 m above mean sea level (mamsl) and has been detected in potato roots from an Andean region in Peru at 2658 mamsl by previous molecular data. The fungus forms small, colourless to frosted white, mainly globose spores, averaging 61x60 mu m, formed singly or very rarely in clusters. There is no reaction to Melzer's reagent, other than a slight unspecific overall yellow iodine staining. The spores are very similar to those of Archaeospora trappei and A. schenckii. However, molecular phylogenetic analysis shows the species to be clearly separate from all other described Archaeospora species. The analysis of the available Archaeospora sequence data shows that sequences of Palaeospora spainiae, of the monospecific genus Palaeospora, cluster within the genus Archaeospora. Palaeospora therefore is synonymised with Archaeospora and P. spainiae is transferred to Archaeospora, as A. spainiae comb. nov.

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