Research

    Donald H. Pfister

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         Pfister CV




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.  We are interested in the relationships among the members of these groups, their geographic distribution, and the associations of these fungi with other organisms.  Prof. Pfister has conducted research on topics related to documentation of collections and collectors of natural history specimens; particularly in relationship to the rich and varied collections at Harvard.  Our fieldwork ranges from collecting locally to southern South America.

Recent Publications

The genus Parasola in Pakistan with the description of two new species

Hussain, S., et al., 2018. The genus Parasola in Pakistan with the description of two new species. MycoKeys , 30 , pp. 41-60. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Parasola is a genus of small, veil-less coprinoid mushrooms in the family Psathyrellaceae (Agaricales). The genus is not well documented in Asia, specifically in Pakistan. In this study we describe two new species Parasola glabra and P. pseudolactea from Pakistan, based on morphological and molecular data. Phylogeny based on three DNA regions: nuc rDNA region encompassing the internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2 along with the 5.8S rDNA (ITS), nuc 28S rDNA D1-D2 domains (28S) and translation elongation factor 1α gene (TEF1α) show that the new taxa are clustered in a clade formed by the members of section Parasola of genus ParasolaParasola glabra with grayish pileus, slightly depressed pileal disc, lamellae separated from the stipe by pseudocollarium, basidiospores 14.5–16.5 × 9.5–11.5 × 8.0–10.5 µm, in front view broadly ovoid to oblong, some with rhomboidal outline, in side view ellipsoid, with eccentric germ-pore of 1.5 µm diameter. Parasola pseudolactea with yellowish brown to dull brown pileus, disc indistinctly umbonate, lamellae free, pseudocollarium absent, basidiospores 13.5–14.5 × 10.5–12.0 × 9.5–10.5 µm, in face view rounded triangular to heart shaped, rarely ovoid to subglobose, in side view ellipsoid to oblong, with eccentric germ-pore of 1.5 µm diam. In addition to these new species, P. auricoma and P.lilatincta were also studied. Morphological descriptions for the new species and comparison with known Parasola species are provided. Our observations highlight the diversity of Parasola in northern Pakistan and further document the need for additional systematic focus on the region’s fungi.

Keywords:

Basidiomycota, diversity, Parasola, phylogeny, taxonomy

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Otidea species from China, three new species with comments on some previously described species

Lu, F., et al., 2018. Otidea species from China, three new species with comments on some previously described species. Mycological Progress , 17 (1-2) , pp. 77–88. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The genus Otidea was recently monographed and studied phylogenetically, but knowledge of the diversity and distribution of Otidea species in China is fragmentary. In this study, collections from China were examined morphologically and included in phylogenetic analyses. Using LSU, TEF1-α, and RPB2 new species were placed within previously recognized clades in the genus. The results agree with both Genealogical Concordance Phylogenetic Species Recognition (GCPSR) and genetic divergence as previously reported. Three new species, Otidea hanseniaeOtidea korfii and Otidea purpureogrisea are recognized based on phylogenetic reconstruction using ITS, LSU, TEF1- α and RPB2. Comments on some incompletely known species are added. With the discovery of these three new species, the genus Otidea in China proves to be more diverse than previously recognized.

Keywords

Morphology Otidea hanseniae sp. nov. Otidea purpureogrisea sp. nov. Otidea korfii sp. nov. Pyronemataceae 

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Underexplored regions of Pakistan yield five new species of Leucoagaricus

Hussain, S., et al., 2018. Underexplored regions of Pakistan yield five new species of Leucoagaricus. Mycologia , pp. 1-36. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The large genus Leucoagaricus (Basidiomycota) is poorly studied in Pakistan, where the northern parts of the country are considered hotspots for biodiversity. Based on morphological and molecular data, five new species are described: Leucoagaricus badius, L. lahorensiformis, L. pakistaniensis, L. sultanii and L. umbonatus. Descriptions and illustrations are given for the new taxa. A phylogeny based on morphology and four DNA regions, including the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 = ITS) and D1-D2 domains of the 28S gene of the nuc rDNA), the gene for RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (RPB2) and the translation elongation factor 1α gene (TEF1-α), show that the new taxa are clustered in a clade representing Leucoagaricus section Rubrotincti subgenus Sericeomyces.

KEY WORDS: AgaricalesbiodiversityLeucocoprinusMalakandphylogenetic analysistaxonomy

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