Little is known about the diversity of Orbiliomycetes from Puerto Rico. Cantrell & Lodge (2008) compiled a list of the fungi from Puerto Rico, and only mentioned four species of Orbilia: O. andina, O. chysocoma, O. delicata and O. cf. gaillardii. During IMC11 in Puerto Rico, 2018, several collections of Orbiliomycetes were found in Juan Enrique Monagas Park during the Ascomycete workshop field trip. Some of these were sent to the Cornell and Farlow Herbaria. One collection caught the attention of Luis Quijada due to its interesting morphological features. This species is not related to any of the species reported by Cantrell & Lodge (2008). The morphology of the asci and ascospores of the sexual morph clearly indicates a relationship with Orbilia auricolor and related species (section Arthrobotrys). The morphology of the strongly mammiform paraphyses and the excipulum with large cortical cells with knob-like glassy caps had never before seen in this section. Our cultures produced an Arthrobotrys-like anamorph most similar to the anamorph of O. blumenaviensis (= A. vermicola), but the conidia are distinctly smaller and never more than 1-septate. Molecular data supports the placement of this Orbilia in series Arthrobotrys. Species in this series produce adhesive networks as trapping organs in the presence of nematodes, and this behavior was confirmed in cultures of this Orbilia. Our phylogenetic analysis shows this species as very distinct from O. blumenaviensis and supports it being new to science.
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.
First published by Fries in 1825, the genus Sarea today comprises two accepted species of resinicolous discomycetes. Both species have a very broad range, with S. difformis reported from North America, Europe, and northwestern Africa, and S. resinae reported from North America, Europe, northern and central Africa, and central and eastern Asia. Both species have also been reported in southern hemisphere locations, such as New Zealand, on non-native trees. Both species also have a broad range of hosts in the Pinaceae, with S. difformis reported on Cedrus atlantica and both Sarea species reported on species of Pinus, Picea, Larix, Pseudotsuga, Abies and Tsuga. In addition, S. resinae has been reported on species in the Cupressaceae, including members of the genera Cupressus, Chamaecyparis,Juniperus and Taxodium. With few exceptions, specimens of each Sarea species share a very similar macro- and micromorphology, with specimens from multiple hosts fitting the specific concepts published by Hawksworth and Sherwood in 1981. Some molecular work has been done on the genus, but in almost all cases sequences are not associated with a vouchered herbarium specimen including the sexual morph. The objective of this study is to determine the degree of relatedness of geographically distant specimens collected in North America, Europe, and Macaronesia on different native and non-native host species. With permission, collections have been made of both species of Sarea from California, Georgia and the New England states in the USA, Northern and Southern Europe and Macaronesia. In addition to detailed measurements of the micromorphological features of specimens, ITS and LSU sequences have been generated using Sanger sequencing for analysis and comparison with published sequences. In contrast to the generally only slight morphological differences noted among specimens, ITS sequences from Europe, Asia, and North America not only differ by about 4% from each other, but also when submitted to phylogenetic analyses form multiple well-supported clades for each continent. These patterns are supported by similar analyses using the LSU sequences and ITS+LSU sequences. These clades also point to host specificity at the host family or genus level. In conclusion, the composition of the genus Sarea seems much more complicated than previously reported, with the possibility of multiple cryptic species in both accepted taxa; additional work must be done to further expand geographical and host range sampling of specimens to include in these analyses in order to approach a full picture of the diversity in Sarea.
Gorongosa National Park (GNP) was a frequent battleground during the Mozambican Civil War (1977-1992) and was left unprotected for a decade after cessation of hostilities. In that time, the Park’s fauna was decimated. Today, restoration of the wildlife and tourist infrastructure is advancing apace with support from the Gregory C. Carr Foundation. The establishment of the E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory in the Park, modeled along the lines of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island in Panama, provided an attractive research destination.
We conducted a fungal survey of GNP in June-July of 2016. Our survey was conducted in the beginning of the dry season and our collections represent species in fruit during a season that is not often sampled. We collected voucher specimens at random localities and habitats within the Park, focusing on discomycetes, polypores and anamorphic fungi. Despite a severe drought that had affected the region that year, we made over 500 collections.