Our lab group does research in the area of fungal biology in which we study taxonomy, life histories, and systematics – particularly of fungi in the Pezizomycetes, the Orbiliomycetes and recently in the Laboulbeniomycetes. 
  • Pfister, D. (Photographer). (2008) Fistulina after harvest  [photograph]. Punta Arenas, Chile.

    Pfister, D. (Photographer). (2008) Fistulina after harvest [photograph]. Punta Arenas, Chile.

  • Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Laetiporus sulphureus – Chicken of the woods. [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

    Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Laetiporus sulphureus – Chicken of the woods. [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

  • Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Trichaptum biforme [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

    Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Trichaptum biforme [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

  • Pfister, D. (Photographer). (2008) Peziza, a cup fungus [photograph]. Punta Arenas, Chile.

    Pfister, D. (Photographer). (2008) Peziza, a cup fungus [photograph]. Punta Arenas, Chile.

  • Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Gloeoporus-dichrousl [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

    Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Gloeoporus-dichrousl [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

  • Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Mycena sp. [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

    Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Mycena sp. [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

  • Pfister, D. (Photographer). (2008) Cyttaria, a fungal parasite of Nothofagus [photograph]. Punta Arenas, Chile.

    Pfister, D. (Photographer). (2008) Cyttaria, a fungal parasite of Nothofagus [photograph]. Punta Arenas, Chile.

  • Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Polyporus alveolaris [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

    Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Polyporus alveolaris [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

  • Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Schizophyllum commune – Split Gill [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

    Haelwaters, D. (Photographer). (2013). Schizophyllum commune – Split Gill [photograph]. Hingham, MA: Worlds End.

Recent Publications

Geodina (Pezizomycetes: Wynneaceae) has a single widespread species in tropical America

Pfister, D.H., Quijada, L. & LoBuglio, K.F., Forthcoming. Geodina (Pezizomycetes: Wynneaceae) has a single widespread species in tropical America. Fungal Systematics and Evolution , 5 (June 2020) , pp. 131-138. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Geodina salmonicolor is shown to be a synonym of G. guanacastensis, the type and only species of the genus. Comparisons of ITS rDNA sequences of a paratype and two recent collections of G. guanacastensis with published ITS sequences of G. salmonicolor, from the Dominican Republic, show that these are nearly identical. When G. salmonicolor was erected no sequences of the type species were available. Morphological comparisons supports the conspecificity. Details regarding the description of G. salmonicolor are pointed out. A four-gene phylogeny places Geodina and Wynnea as a supported sister group to the rest of the Sarcoscyphaceae. Species in these genera share morphological traits of cyanophobic spore markings, dark angular outer excipular cells that give rise to hairs and the origin of several apothecia from a common basal stalk. Their occurrence on soil rather than on wood or plant material distinguish them from other Sarcoscyphaceae. Based on morphology, phylogenic relationships and trophic interactions we erect a new family, Wynneaceae, for Geodina and Wynnea.

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Geopora ahmadii sp. nov. from Pakistan

2019. Geopora ahmadii sp. nov. from Pakistan. Mycotaxon , 134 (2) , pp. 377-389. Publisher's VersionAbstract
A new species, Geopora ahmadii, is described and illustrated based on material from Punjab, Pakistan. This species is characterized by sessile, cup- to saucer-shaped, partly immersed apothecia with whitish to grayish hymenial surfaces; broad ellipsoid, mostly uniguttulate ascospores; and brown excipular hairs. Phylogenetic analyses of the nrDNA ITS region with maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference methods reveal that G. ahmadii is distinct from other described Geopora species. A collection previously identified as Geopora arenosa from Rawalakot, Pakistan, likely represents a second locality of G. ahmadii.
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Resurrecting the genus Geomorium: Systematic study of fungi in the genera Underwoodia and Gymnohydnotrya (Pezizales) with the description of three new South American species

Kraisitudomsook, N., et al., 2019. Resurrecting the genus Geomorium: Systematic study of fungi in the genera Underwoodia and Gymnohydnotrya (Pezizales) with the description of three new South American species. Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi , 44 , pp. 98-12. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Molecular phylogenetic analyses have addressed the systematic position of several major Northern Hemisphere lineages of Pezizales but the taxa of the Southern Hemisphere remain understudied. This study focuses on the molecular systematics and taxonomy of Southern Hemisphere species currently treated in the genera Underwoodia and Gymnohydnotrya. Species in these genera have been identified as the monophyletic /gymnohydno­trya lineage, but no further research has been conducted to determine the evolutionary origin of this lineage or its relationship with other Pezizales lineages. Here, we present a phylogenetic study of fungal species previously described in Underwoodia and Gymnohydnotrya, with sampling of all but one described species. We revise the taxonomy of this lineage and describe three new species from the Patagonian region of South America. Our results show that none of these Southern Hemisphere species are closely related to Underwoodia columnaris, the type species of the genus Underwoodia. Accordingly, we recognize the genus Geomorium described by Spegazzini in 1922 for G. fuegianum. We propose the new family, Geomoriaceae fam. nov., to accommodate this phylogenetically and morphologically unique Southern Hemisphere lineage. Molecular dating estimated that Geomoriaceae started to diverge from its sister clade Tuberaceae c. 112 MYA, with a crown age for the family in the late Cretaceous (c. 67 MYA). This scenario fits well with a Gondwanan origin of the family before the split of Australia and South America from Antarctica during the Paleocene-Eocene boundary (c. 50 MYA).
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The Biology and Distribution of Morels in Southern Chile

The Biology and Distribution of Morels in Southern Chile
Furci, G., F., L.B.K. & Pfister, D., 2019. The Biology and Distribution of Morels in Southern Chile. Presented at the 2019 Mycological Society of America Meeting.Abstract

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The harvesting of morels is a vital economic activity for local communities in Chile because they are a significant commercial export for the country. Although many species of morels produce ascomata in the absence of fire, abundant ascomata production occurs among some Morchella species when triggered by fire. The intentional burning of Nothofagus forests in Southern Chile, as a means to increase morel production, has become a problem and has negatively impacted ecosystems. Information on the distribution of morels in South America is limited. Spegazzini (1909) described M. patagonica from Argentina and Gamundi et al. (2004) listed five Morchella species from Patagonia and surrounding areas including Spegazzini’s species. Recently Pildain et al. (2014) and Baroni et al. (2018) have examined diversity of Morchella species in South America and the Caribbean using molecular methods. To better understand which Morchella species are being commercially harvested in Southern Chile, molecular markers were used to identify collections of morels being harvested and/or sold commercially and determine their phylogenetic relationships. Morels were sampled from collections in the Fungarium of the Fundación Fungi, Chile (FFCL) and batches purchased from commercial harvesters and bulk gatherers in 2015 and 2016. DNA sequence from the EF1a, RPB1, ITS and RPB2 were obtained and used for phylogenetic analyses. This study will contribute to the knowledge of morels in South America and help to understand their phylogenetic relationships with other Morchella species found worldwide.

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The Asian‐Melanesian bambusicolous genus Myriodiscus is related to the genus Tympanis, the North American‐European tree pathogen

Quijada, L., et al., 2019. The Asian‐Melanesian bambusicolous genus Myriodiscus is related to the genus Tympanis, the North American‐European tree pathogen. Forest Pathology , 49 (4). Publisher's VersionAbstract
Species of Tympanis are well‐known pathogens in Holarctic forests, but we know lit‐ tle about their relationship to other genera in Tympanidaceae. The genus Myriodiscus, remarkable macroscopically and a possible pathogen on bamboo, has a complicated taxonomic history and has not been conclusively placed phylogenetically. Species of Myriodiscus have been described under two other generic names, Ascotremellopsis and Gelatinomyces, the latter being related to the pathogenic genus Collophorina. There has been no formal synonymy of these three bambusicolous genera or agree‐ ment on their systematic positions. We combine accurate micromorphology and DNA sequence data to show the link between Tympanis and Myriodiscus and reveal previously unrecognized features of the latter. These two genera show a type of ascus development unique in the Leotiomycetes. With this new data, we have re‐ solved past confusions over the identity of these fungi, determined their systematic position and have proposed the proper synonymies for Myriodiscus sparassoides and one new combination (M. conus).
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