24 April 2020
During a survey of xylarialean fungi in Northern Iran, several specimens that showed affinities to the Hypoxylon rubiginosum complex were collected and cultured. A comparison of their morphological characters, combined with a chemotaxonomic study based on high performance liquid chromatography, coupled with diode array detection and mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD/MS) and a multi-locus phylogeny based on ITS, LSU, rbp2 and tub2 DNA sequences, revealed a new species here described as Hypoxylon guilanense . In addition, Hypoxylon rubiginosum sensu stricto was also encountered. Concurrently, an endophytic isolate of the latter species showed strong antagonistic activities against the Ash Dieback pathogen, Hymenoscyphus fraxineus , in a dual culture assay in our laboratory. Therefore, we decided to test the new Iranian fungi for antagonistic activities against the pathogen, along with several cultures of other Hypoxylon species that are related to H. rubiginosum . Our results suggest that the antagonistic effects of Hypoxylon spp. against Hym. fraxineus are widespread and that they are due to the production of antifungal phomopsidin derivatives in the presence of the pathogen.