Beauveria bassiana on locusts

The Sordariomycetes are a class of Ascomycota. With over 600 genera and over 3000 species, they are one of the largest ascomycete classes. The majority of the species is characterized by perithecische, flask-shaped fruiting body and inoperculate, asci unitunicate from.


The majority of the species formed as a fruiting body perithecia, some groups also Cleistothecia, probably due to loss of perithecia opening. The arrangement of the asci is usually basally or laterally in a hymenium. The predominant ascus construction is inoperculat, thin-walled and unitunicat. In species with insect or water spread of spores prototunicate asci have developed. True paraphyses occur only in the two subclasses Sordariomycetidae and Xylariomycetidae. The Hypocreomycetidae have lateral or centripetal Pseudoparaphysen or not such structures. The asci usually consists of eight spores.

The class is rich in asexual forms ( anamorphs ). The Anamorphic can thereby be hyphomycetisch or coelomycetisch, where Coelomyceten occur mainly at Glomerellaceae and Diaporthales. Many types of orders Ophiostomatales, Chaetosphaeriales and the crust ball Fungal ( Hypocreales ) form of two or more different anamorphs.

Dissemination and lifestyle

The Sordariomycetes are found worldwide, they inhabit almost every habitat. They live as pathogens and endophytes in plants, arthropods and mammals, as mycoparasites on other fungi, and have an important role in organic matter breakdown and nutrient cycling as Saprobionten.

The plant pathogens occur particularly in the orders Diaporthales, Hypocreales Microascales, Ophiostomatales, Phyllachorales and the wooden club -like ( Xylariales ). Known representatives of the chestnut blight ( Cryphonectria parasitica ), the cause of the elms dying ( Ophiostoma ulmi and Ophiostoma novo - ulmi ), Fusarium and Rossellinia species. Among the Sordariomycetes there are also endophytes that live in the aboveground plant parts, such as Balansia and Epichloe ( crustal ball Fungal ), Nemania and Xylaria ( Xylariales ) and Colletotrichum. The host plants are drought resistant, suffer less insect damage and are rarely infected by pathogens.

Fungal species crust ball, Ophiostomatales and Microascales often cause opportunistic infections in humans and other animals. Examples are Sporothrix schenkii, Fusarium solani and Trichoderma. The symbioses with arthropods range from antagonistic to mutualistic. Spores of representatives of Microascales and Ophiostomatales spread by bark beetles; Representative of the crustal ball Fungal parasites on various arthropods. Crustal ball Fungal also provide some mycoparasites that parasitize on large, fleshy fruiting bodies.

As Saprobionten they build from wood, herbaceous parts of plants and livestock manure - see also composting.

Bioactive substances are gained from Claviceps and Epichloe.

Several representatives to aquatic life gone ( Halosphaeriaceae, Lulworthiales ), including several saltwater inhabitants.


The class has proven in phylogenetic studies as a single lineage, it is monophyletic. Similarly, the three subclasses are each monophyletic. The Sordariomycetes are the sister group of the Leotiomycetes. Hibbett et al. (2007) divided the class as follows:

  • Subclass Hypocreomycetidae order Coronophorales
  • Order crustal ball Fungal ( Hypocreales )
  • Order Melanosporales
  • Order Microascales
  • Order Boliniales
  • Order Calosphaeriales
  • Order Chaetosphaeriales
  • Order Coniochaetales
  • Order Diaporthales
  • Order Ophiostomatales
  • Order Sordariales
  • Order wooden club -like Xylariales
  • Order Lulworthiales
  • Order Meliolales
  • Order Phyllachorales
  • Order Trichosphaeriales