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Introduction

The class Dothideomycetes contains the majority of the fungal species with ascostromatic development and bitunicate asci that were previously placed in the "Loculoascomycetes". The remaining "Loculoascomycetes" are placed in subclass Chaetothyriomycetidae in the diverse order Eurotiomycetes. Historically the majority of these fungi were placed in several different groups under various classifications e. g. “Ascoloculares” (Nannfeldt 1932) “Bitunicatae” (Luttrell 1951) “Loculoascomycetes” (Luttrell 1955) and “Loculoascomycetidae” (Luttrell 1981). A mixture of these names still remain in use in recent literature. Dothideomycetes are often found as pathogens, endophytes or epiphytes of living plants and also as saprobes degrading cellulose and other complex carbohydrates in dead or partially digested plant matter in leaf litter or dung. However their nutritional modes are not limited to associations with plants; several species are lichens, while others occur as parasites on other fungi or members of the kingdom animalia.

Plant pathogenetic Dothideomycetes: Pseudothecia of Cochliobolus heterostrophus on corn leaf seen through a stereo microscope, © Gillian Turgeon

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