Fungalpedia – Note 96 Hypomyces


Hypomyces (Fr.) Tul. & C. Tul.

Citation when using this entry: Gajanayake et al., in prep – Fungalpedia, fungicolous fungi. Mycosphere.

Index FungorumFacesoffungiMycoBankGenBank, Fig 1.

Hypomyces (Hypocreaceae, Hypocreales) was originally considered as a subgenus of Hypocrea Fr. by Fries (1825), but later it was raised to genus rank by Tulasne & Tulasne (1860). Hypomyces lactifluorum (Schwein.) Tul. & C. Tul. which was originally discovered on Agaricus lactifluus, collected from the USA, was designated as the type species of HypomycesArnold (1971) conducted the first comprehensive taxonomic study for Hypomyces and differentiated it from the closely related Arachnocrea, Apiocrea, and Peckiella. Thereafter, several studies on Hypomyces were conducted (Rogerson & Samuels 19851989, 19931994Põldmaa 1996, 20032011Põldmaa et al. 19972000). Accordingly, a link between asexual morphs of Hypomyces and Cladobotryum was revealed based on morphology and phylogeny (Rogerson & Samuels 19931994Poldmaa 20032011). The use of Hypomyces over Cladobotyrum was recommended (Rossman et al. 2013; Hyde et al. 2020).

Hypomyces are fungicolous taxa associated with Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, but some taxa (H. mycophilus, H. perniciosus) are pathogenic on commercially cultivated mushrooms (Rogerson & Samuels 19931994Põldmaa et al. 2000Põldmaa 2003Gea et al. 2021Zhang et al. 2023). Occasionally, Hypomyces taxa have been reported in association with plant and other substrates such as bark, wood, leaves, mosses, humus, rocks, insect galls and lichens (Rogerson & Samuels 19931994Lechat et al. 2017Farr et al. 2021Karimi et al. 2022Perera et al. 2023). Hypomyces has a cosmopolitan distribution with most taxa reported as pathogens or saprobes (Rogerson & Samuels 19931994Rossman et al. 1999Põldmaa 199620032011). Bioactive metabolites of Hypomyces chrysospermus are an important resource for the pharmaceutical and drug industries. Hypomyces chrysospermus has anticancer, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties including anti-metastatic and anti-proliferative activity (Chakraborty et al. 2016Dikmen et al. 2020).

The sexual morph of Hypomyces is characterized by peritheical ascomata which are superficial on or semi immersed to immersed in a concolorous subiculum. Asci are cylindrical and 8-spored. Ascospores are partially overlapping, uniseriate, fusiform with blunt or acute ends, spinulose to tuberculate or verrucose and hyaline (Rossman et al. 1999Poldmaa 2011Perera et al. 2023). The asexual morph of Hypomyces is hyphomycetous and it is characterized by conidiophores that are usually micronematous, occasionally semi-macronematous to macronematous, aseptate or septate and form verticils on the conidiogenous cells. Conidiogenous cells produce one to several conidiogenous loci. Conidia are solitary, usually ellipsoidal to fusiform, cylindrical, ovoid, obovoid or clavate and hyaline to green (Rossman et al. 1999Poldmaa 2011Perera et al. 2023).

The current identification of Hypomyces taxa is based on morphological characteristics combined with multigene phylogenetic analyses. The recommended molecular markers for Hypomyces species are ITS, LSU, rpb1, rpb2 and tef 1-α (Rehner & Samuels 1995Põldmaa 2000Põldmaa et al. 2000Põldmaa 2011Zare & Gams 2016). To date, 118 Hypomyces taxa are listed in Species Fungorum (2023) and around 60 taxa have molecular data.

Type species: Hypomyces lactifluorum (Schwein.) Tul. & C. Tul.

Other accepted species: See Species Fungorum – search Hypomyces for names.



Figure 1 – Hypomyces lactifluorum (PH00076754) a Host (Lactarius sp.). b Ascomata on host. c, d Vertical section of ascomata. e Hyphae of the subiculum in 3% KOH. f Section of peridium in 3% KOH. g Ascus. h Illustration of ascal apex (Redrawn from Rogerson & Samuels 1994). i–n Ascospores. Scale bars: b, c, d = 200 μm, g = 80 μm, e = 50 μm, f, h–n = 20 μm. Photo Credits: R.H. Perera.



Arnold GRW. 1971 – Zur Systematik der Hypomycetaceae. Nova Hedwigia 21, 529–535.

Chakraborty P, Thangaraman V, Thangamani S, Dhatchayani R, Abraham J. 2016 – Bioactivity of Hypomyces chrysospermus methanol extract. Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology 9, 157–161.

Dikmen M, Ozturk SE, Canturk Z, Ceylan G et al. 2020 – Anticancer and antimetastatic activity of Hypomyces chrysospermus, a cosmopolitan parasite in different human cancer cells. Mol Biol Rep 47, 3765–37678

Farr DF, Rossman AY; Castlebury LA. 2021 – United States National Fungus Collections Fungus-Host Dataset. Ag Data Commons.

Fries E. 1825 – Systema orbis vegetabilis: Primas lineas novae constructionis periclitatur Elias Fries. e Typographia Academica.

Gams W, Diederich P, Põldmaa K. 2004 – Fungicolous fungi. Biodiversity of fungi: Inventory and Monitoring Methods, 343–392.

Gea FJ, Navarro MJ, Santos M, Diánez F, Carrasco J. 2021 – Control of fungal diseases in mushroom crops while dealing with fungicide resistance: A review. Microorganisms 9, 585.

Hyde KD, Norphanphoun C, Maharachchikumbura SSN, Bhat DJ et al. 2020 – Refined families of Sordariomycetes. Mycosphere 11, 305–1059.

Jeffries P. 1995 – Biology and ecology of mycoparasitism. Canadian Journal of Botany 73, 1284–1290.

Karimi O, Rathnayaka AR, Gajanayake AJ, Farias ARG et al. 2022 – Taxonomy and phylogenetic appraisal of Hypomyces iranica sp. nov. (Hypocreaceae, Hypocreales). Asian Journal of Mycology 5, 187–201.

Lechat C, Gardiennet A, Fournier J. 2017 – First report of a lichenicolous species of Hypomyces (Hypocreaceae), H. peltigericola sp. nov. Ascomycete. org 9(2), 23–26.

Lin WR, Gu TY, Wang PH. 2016 – Fungicolous xylariaceous fungi in coralloid basidiomata. Fungal Ecology 21, 43–49.

Perera RH, Hyde KD, Jones EBG, Maharachchikumbura SSN et al. 2023 – Profile of BionectriaceaeCalcarisporiaceaeHypocreaceaeNectriaceaeTilachlidiaceaeIjuhyaceae fam. nov., Stromatonectriaceae fam. nov. and Xanthonectriaceae fam. nov. Fungal Diversity 118, 95–271.

Põldmaa K. 1996 – A new species of Hypomyces and three of Cladobotryum from Estonia. Mycotaxon 59, 389–405.

Põldmaa K. 2000 – Generic delimitation of the fungicolous Hypocreaceae. Studies in Mycology 45, 83–94.

Põldmaa K. 2003 – Three species of Hypomyces growing on basidiomata of Stereaceae. Mycologia 95, 921–933.

Põldmaa K. 2011 –Tropical species of Cladobotryum and Hypomyces producing red pigments. Studies in Mycology 68, 1–34.

Põldmaa K, Larsson E, Kõljalg U. 2000 – Phylogenetic relationships in Hypomyces and allied genera, with emphasis on species growing on wood-decaying homobasidiomycetes. Canadian Journal of Botany 77, 1756–1768.

Põldmaa K, Lodge DJ, Samuels GJ. 1997 –Three new polyporicolous species of Hypomyces and their Cladobotryum anamorphs. Sydowia 49, 80–93.

Rehner SA, Samuels GJ. 1995 – Molecular systematics of the Hypocreales: a teleomorph gene phylogeny and the status of their anamorphs. Canadian Journal of Botany 73, 816–823.

Rogerson CT, Samuels GJ. 1985 – Species of Hypomyces and Nectria occurring on discomycetes. Mycologia 77, 763–783.

Rogerson CT, Samuels GJ. 1989 – Boleticolous species of Hypomyces. Mycologia 81, 413–432.

Rogerson CT, Samuels GJ. 1993 – Polyporicolous species of Hypomyces. Mycologia 85, 231–272.

Rogerson CT, Samuels GJ. 1994 – Agaricolous species of Hypomyces. Mycologia 86, 839–866.

Rossman AY, Samuels GJ, Rogerson CT, Lowen R. 1999 – Genera of BionectriaceaeHypocreaceae and Nectriaceae (HypocrealesAscomycetes). Studies in Mycology 42, 1–248.

Rossman AY, Seifert KA, Samuels GJ, Minnis AM et al. 2013 – Genera in BionectriaceaeHypocreaceae, and Nectriaceae (Hypocreales) proposed for acceptance or rejection. IMA Fungus 4, 41–51.

Species Fungorum. 2023 – (Accessed on 04 June 2023).

Sun JZ, Liu XZ, McKenzie EH, Jeewon R et al. 2019 – Fungicolous fungi: terminology, diversity, distribution, evolution, and species checklist. Fungal Diversity 95, 337–430.

Tulasne LR, Tulasne C. 1860 – De quelques Spheries fongicoles, a propos d’un memoire de M. Antoine de Bary sur les Nyctalis. Annales des Sciences Naturelles; Botanique 13, 5–19.

Zare R, Gams W. 2016 – More white verticillium-like anamorphs with erect conidiophores. Mycological Progress 15, 993–1030.

Zhang J, Wen D, Zhu Y, Wen Z. 2023 – First report of cobweb disease of Auricularia heimuer caused by Hypomyces mycophilus in Fujian Province, China. Plant Disease (online).


Entry by

Gajanayake A.J, Center of Excellence in Fungal Research, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand and School of Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand.


(Edited by Ruvishika S. Jayawardena & Kevin D. Hyde)