A new species is described in the Mucorales family Syncephalastraceae: Syncephalastrum contaminatum, isolated as an in vitro culture from a laboratory contaminant. The species has variable copies of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions, requiring cloning of these regions prior to Sanger sequencing before subsequent use in phylogenetic comparisons with other fungi. The genome of the strain was sequenced using short paired-reads to yield a draft genome of 28.6 Mb. Syncephalastrum contaminatum is distinguished by diverse DNA sequences at several loci from the other species of Syncephalastrum, including only 81% sequence identity with its ITS regions to that of S. racemosum. Its merosporangium produces four or more asexual spores and the genome sequencing information suggests that the species is heterothallic. The identification of this species highlights the limited knowledge about the early lineages of fungi both in Australia and globally.
- Mating type