Extreme morphological divergence: Phylogenetic position of a termite ectoparasite

Meredith Blackwell, Daniel A. Henk, Kevin G. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (SciVal)


Species of Termitaria are lesion-forming ectoparasites occurring worldwide on a diverse group of termites. The reduced thallus consists of a basal cell layer from which haustorial cells penetrate the termite and a darkly pigmented sporodochium. One species, Termitaria snyderi, has been the subject of several morphological studies, but its phylogenetic position has remained enigmatic. Here we provide evidence of a close relationship between T. snyderi and the morphologically distinct ascomycetes, Kathistes analemmoides and K. calyculata, based on phylogenetic analysis of molecular characters derived from portions of the nuclear-encoded small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene (ssu rDNA) and supplemental evidence from the β-tubulin gene. Trees were derived using parsimony and maximum-likelihood criteria. Bayesian analysis and parsimony bootstrap methods were used to assess support for the tree nodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-992
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Asexual fungi
  • Conidial fungi
  • Insect-associated fungi
  • Isoptera
  • Mitosporic fungi
  • ssu rDNA
  • Termitaria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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