Event Abstract

Morphological and molecular characterization of Portuguese isolates of Nia vibrissa

  • 1 Centro de Ecologia, Evolução e Alterações climáticas (CE3C) da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
  • 2 Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar da Universidade de Aveiro, Pólo FCUL (CESAM-FCUL), Portugal
  • 3 Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências, Departamento de Biologia Vegetal., Portugal

Marine fungi play an important ecological role on marine ecosystems as decomposers of woody substrates, and also have economic importance as producers of a wide range of bioactive compounds. The Portuguese marine fungal communities have been studied, based on morphological characters, for about two decades, and more than 100 marine fungal taxa were identified. The majority belongs to Ascomycota followed by asexual morphs and only two Basidiomycota species were found: Nia vibrissa and Nia globospora were detected on Spartina maritima baits (Barata 1997, 2006) and Nia vibrissa was also recorded on Fagus sylvatica baits (Azevedo et al. 2011). Morphological characterization of our isolates of Nia vibrissa revealed differences on basidiocarp colour (white pinkish to dark yellow) and also on the morphology of the peridial hairs, varying from straight to curved with bifurcated to non-bifurcated ends. In culture, the yellow basidiocarp shows a peridial surface without hairs. Many authors have reported similar morphological differences (Kohlmeyer and Kohlmeyer 1979; Barata 1997; Binder et al. 2001), and Jones and Jones (1993) suggested the existence of a species complex for Nia vibrissa. Considering the morphological variability detected on our isolates we addressed their genetic variability by amplification and sequencing of two nuclear ribosomal DNA regions: LSU and SSU. The consensus sequences of the isolates selected for this study were aligned with sequences retrieved from GenBank, and SSU, LSU and concatenated SSU-LSU alignments were subjected to phylogenetic analyses by Neighbor Joining and Maximum Likelihood methods performed with Mega 7.0. Pairwise distances were also calculated with Mega 7.0 for all the sequences of each alignment performed. Unlike morphological observations, our results evidenced a high level of genetic similarity among all the isolates of Nia vibrissa analyzed in the three sets of alignments considered. Pairwise distances of 0 % were found between the sequences of the Portuguese isolates, coinciding with their placement together in highly supported clades in the phylogenetic trees. When the comparisons included all the isolates of Nia vibrissa, they also clustered together in highly supported clades and pairwise distances ranged between 0 and 2%. These results allowed concluding that, pending further genetic evaluations, our molecular data do not support Nia vibrissa as a species complex.


The administrations of Cascais and Sesimbra marinas are thanked for authorizing and supporting the field work.

This work was partially funded by Fundação Portuguesa para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) through Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM) da Universidade de Aveiro and Centro de Ecologia, Evolução e Alterações climáticas (Ce3C) da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa.


Azevedo, E., Caeiro, M.F., Rebelo, R., Barata, M. (2011). Biodiversity and characterization of marine mycota from Portuguese waters. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 34: 205–215.

Barata, M. (2006). Marine fungi from river salt marsh in Portugal. Revista Iberoamericana Micologia 23: 179–184.

Barata, M., Basilio, M.C., Baptista-Ferreira, J.L. (1997). Nia globospora, a new marine gasteromycete on baits of Spartina marítima in Portugal. Mycol Res 101: 687–690.

Binder, M., Hibbett, D.S., Molitoris, H.P. (2001). Phylogenetic relationships of marine gasteromycete Nia vibrissa. Mycologia 93: 679–688.

Jones, A.M, and Jones, E.B.G. (1993). Observations on the marine gasteromycete Nia vibrissa Mycol Res 97: 1–6.

Kohlmeyer, J., and Kohlmyer, E. (1979). Marine Mycology – the higher fungi. Academic Press, New York.

Keywords: Nia vibrissa, Marine Basidiomycota, RDNA sequences, Taxonomy, phylogeny

Conference: XIX Iberian Symposium on Marine Biology Studies, Porto, Portugal, 5 Sep - 9 Sep, 2016.

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation


Citation: Azevedo E, Barata M and Caeiro MF (2016). Morphological and molecular characterization of Portuguese isolates of Nia vibrissa. Front. Mar. Sci. Conference Abstract: XIX Iberian Symposium on Marine Biology Studies. doi: 10.3389/conf.FMARS.2016.05.00049

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Received: 30 Apr 2016; Published Online: 02 Sep 2016.

* Correspondence: PhD. Egidia Azevedo, Centro de Ecologia, Evolução e Alterações climáticas (CE3C) da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, egazd@hotmail.com