Book Review: The Hypocreaceae of China

Book Review: The Hypocreaceae of China

Zhuang, W-Y, Zeng, Z-Q, Zhu Z-X, Qin W-T, Chen K, Zhang Y-B, Song X. 2020 Hypocreaceae. Flora Fungorum SInicorum vol. 60. Consilio FLorarum Cryptogramarum Sinicarum, Academia Sinicae Edita. 225 pp. plus 227 plates.

For more than two decades now, the mycologists in China have been publishing comprehensive books on their fungi with a volume for each major group or even volumes covering just one genus such as Cercospora. Given the enormous size of their country and the tremendous diversity of geography, climate, and flora, these books represent an important contribution to the knowledge of fungi in China. This most recent account of the Hypocreaceae was sent to me by the Redactor Principalis and good friend, Dr. Wen-ying Zhuang. She had previously been a major contributor to a similar book on the Bionectriaceae and Nectriaceae published in 2013.

Although the introduction, descriptions and discussions are in Chinese, this book on the Hypocreaceae would still be useful to those interested in this ascomycete family because of the 227 plates of illustrations. The two major genera in the Hypocreaceae are well represented with over 30 species of Hypomyces and over 200 species of Trichoderma (syn. Hypocrea) included. The lesser known genera are represented with only one species of Arachnocrea, A. scabrida, Protocrea, P. farinosa, and Sphaerostilbella, S. aureonitens, and the genus Hypocreopsis with H. lichenoides and H. phyllostachydis, now regarded as Mycocitrus phyllostachydis. 

Each species is listed with a nomenclator consisting of the accepted name and synonyms followed by the description and list of specimens in China, most of which are deposited at HMAS. Most species are illustrated with either a half or entire photographic plate usually consisting of macroscopic views as well as microscopic and cultural features. Species with fruiting bodies are illustrated with a lateral section showing the perithecial and stromatal wall structure. The many species of Trichoderma include illustrations of the hypocrea-state, if one exists, as well as the asci and ascospores. If known only from culture, plates with growth on different media are illustrated along with micrographs of conidial structures and conidia at high resolution in order to determine the wall ornamentation. Such detailed illustrations are needed for the identification of these species.

In summary, this is a scholarly book documenting the numerous fungi in the Hypocreaceae of China with descriptions and illustrations, plus a listing the numerous collections that serve as the basis for this publication. To those keenly interested in this family, this book is essential to know the worldwide distribution of these fungi.

Amy Rossman
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon