Fungalpedia – Note 199, Dendromyceliates (Fossil Fungi)


Dendromyceliates K.P. Jain & R.K. Kar.

Citation when using this data: Saxena RK & Hyde KD. 2024 (in prep) – Fungalpedia, Fossil Fungi. 

Index Fungorum, Facesoffungi, MycoBank, GenBank, Fig 1.

Classification: Mycelia sterilia, Fossil Fungi. 

Jain & Kar (1979) instituted the monotypic genus Dendromyceliates from the Miocene sediments of Chanakkodi, Quilon District, Kerala Coast, South India. The original diagnosis of Dendromyceliates is as follows: “Hyphae thick-walled, septate, cylindrical, base swollen, hyphae length divided into several cells by septa, cells with or without pores, generally uniporate. The tip of hyphae dichotomously branched 3-4 times, acutely pointed.” Dendromyceliates is conspicuous by the presence of dichotomously branched tips of the hyphae. The basal part of the hyphae shows some disc-like structures, which perhaps point out that the hyphae were attached to some other organ – probably an ascocarp.

The affinity of this genus is not definitely known. However, if the hyphae were borne on ascocarps, then it might be related to Plectomycetes, because they produce closed ascocarps where globose, evanescent asci are developed at all levels from the ascogenous hyphae, which branch irregularly throughout the central tissue of fruiting bodies. According to Fennell (1973), among Plectomycetes, in Gymnoascaceae, the ascogenous hyphae and asci sometimes occur in naked clusters but are generally surrounded and enmeshed by a network of hyphae similar to or different from the vegetative hyphae. They may be colored, thick-walled, smooth or variously roughened, forming a net- or bramble-like aggregate with or without modified peripheral appendages. The ascogenous hyphae of Myxotrichum chartarum (Fennell 1973, p. 52, fig. 5a) closely resemble Dendromyceliates. The ascogenous hyphae in this species are also dichotomously branched, but no further detail of the hyphae is available for close comparison.

After the original record of the type species, Dendromyceliates splendus, from the Neogene sediments around Kollam and Varkala, Kerala, it was also recorded from Tonakkal clay mine, Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala (Varma & Patil 1985) and Miocene sediments (Ratnagiri Beds/ Sindhudurg Formation) of Konkan coast, Maharashtra (Saxena & Misra 1990Saxena 2000).

Type species: Dendromyceliates splendus Jain & Kar



Figure 1 – Dendromyceliates splendus. Scale bar = 50 μm. Redrawn from Jain & Kar (1979).



Fennell DI. 1973 – Plectomycetes; Eurotiales; in Ainsworth GC, Sparrow FK & Sussman AS, The fungi, An Advanced Treatise, V. 4A, (ed.) New York & London, p. 45-68.

Jain KP, Kar RK. 1979 – Palynology of Neogene sediments around Quilon and Varkala, Kerala coast, South India–I. Fungal remains. Palaeobotanist 26, 105–118. 

Saxena RK. 2000 – Palynological investigation of the Sindhudurg Formation in the type area, Sindhudurg District, Maharashtra, India. ONGC Bulletin 37(1), 157–166.

Saxena RK, Misra NK. 1990 – Palynological investigation of the Ratnagiri Beds of Sindhu Durg District, Maharashtra. Palaeobotanist 38, 263–276.

Varma YNR, Patil RS. 1985 – Fungal remains from the Tertiary carbonaceous clays of Tonakkal area, Kerala. Geophytology 15(2), 151–158.


Entry by

Ramesh K. SaxenaBirbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow, India


(Edited by Kevin D. Hyde, Samaneh Chaharmiri-Dokhaharani, & Achala R. Rathnayaka)