• Harpophora;
  • dark septate endophyte;
  • Phialophora;
  • Gaeumannomyces;
  • Magnaporthe;
  • Magnaporthaceae


A survey of the endophytic fungal community of wild rice (Oryza granulata) in China was conducted. Two isolates recovered from healthy roots are assumed to be dark septate endophytes (DSEs). They are morphologically similar to species from the genus Harpophora and are identified as a new species, Harpophora oryzae, based on the molecular phylogeny and morphological characteristics. A neighbor-joining tree constructed from ITS–5.8S rRNA gene regions reveals that H. oryzae forms a distinctive subclade within the genus Harpophora, and is not genetically close to other species of Harpophora. Harpophora oryzae exhibits a moderate growth rate, with a frequent production of rope-like strands. It sporulates readily on artificial medium. Phialides are usually flask or bottle shaped and occur singly along hyphae or laterally and terminally on branched, hyaline to brown conidiophores, and also form whorls on metulae. Conidiophores are mostly branched with a slightly thickened wall, varying in dimensions. Conidia are one-celled and hyaline, most of them being falcate and strongly curved. The morphological differences between Harpophora spp. and Harpophora-like anamorphs representing different orders are also discussed. An in vitro inoculation test showed that H. oryzae may contribute towards improving rice (Oryza sativa L.) growth. Microscopic inspection of roots and phylogenetic placement of isolates further confirmed that H. oryzae represents a novel member of DSEs.