Applied Biological Research (2009) 11(2): 59-62
HITHERTO UNRECORDED MACROFUNGI FROM INDIA
Gh. Hassan Dar*, Muzaffar A. Beig and Nadeem A. Ganai
Division of Plant Pathology, S.K. University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir
Shalimar Campus Srinagar 191 121 (J&K)
(Received 19 January, 2009; accepted 28 October, 2009)
Kashmir forests harbour rich macrofungal diversity and merely 250
macrofungi have been reported from the Himalayan state of Jammu &
Kashmir. During a recent survey for mycorrhiza, four hitherto unreported
macrofungi viz. Aleuria aurantia (Pers.), Mitrophora semilibera (DC) Lév.,
Russula delica (Fr.) and Russula paludosa (Britzelm.) were collected from
conifer-dominated forests of Kashmir. Of these Russula delica and Russula
paludosa are new records from India whereas Aleuria aurantia (Pers.) and
Mitrophora semilibera (DC) Lév. are new reports from J&K State.
Key words: Aleuria aurantia, India, Jammu and Kashmir, macrofungi,
Mitrophora semilibera, Russula delica, Russula paludosa
The Himalayan State of Jammu & Kashmir owing to wide agro-climatic variations, diverse
physiography and undulating topography has variable forest types with rich plant stand and
luxuriant to scanty growth depending upon the nature and amount of humus accumulation.
Merely 250 macrofungal species have been reported from Jammu & Kashmir (Walting and
Abraham 1992; Gardezi and Najma 2005; Dar et al., 2007; Beig et al., 2008a,b; Dar et al.,
2009 a,b,c). Out of these about 165 species have been reported from the Indian part of the State
and rest from Pakistan administered Kashmir. Many species amongst these are new records
from the Indian subcontinent and the species like Calvatia verrucosia, Boletus inequalaterus,
B. ratonjoghensis, Geastrum heptaplex, Lycoperdon echinulaton, L. pedicellaton, L.
sphaericon, Russula baghensa, Russula hullera and Russula kashmira are de novo records
(Gardezi and Najma 2003, Gardezi 2003, 2005). The J&K forests have been surveyed
superficially for macrofungi, including mushrooms; and many macrofungi have remained yet
unreported from the area. The present communication describes some newly reported
macrofungi from J&K State.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Forest areas of Jehlum Valley Division (Gulmarg and Baramulla) and Zabarvan hills (Cheshmashahi
area) were surveyed for mycorrhiza during March, 2008 to April, 2009. Standard methods were
followed for the collection, preservation and macro- and micro-scopic studies of macrofungi (Kumar et
al., 1990; Atri et al., 2003). Identification was made on the basis of critical macro- and micro-scopic
observations of the specimens and perusal of relevant literature (Pacioni, 1985) and Mycokey
(http://www.mycokey.com). Photographs were taken using digital Nikon camera. The sporocarps and
sporophores of macrofungi were maintained in 4% formaldehyde solution in the laboratory and
preserved in the herbarium of Division of Plant Pathology, SKUAST-K, Srinagar (J&K).
G.H. Dar et al. 60
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
During present survey several macrofungi were collected from lower forest range to alpine zone
of Kashmir. Four macrofungi were observed to be new records from the Jammu & Kashmir
State (Fig. 1 & 2). Of these two species belonging to Russulales (Fig. 1) were hitherto
unreported from India so far (Bilgrammi et al., 1982, 1991; Sorbhay et al., 1996; Jammuldin et
al., 2004). These macrofungi are described below:
1. Russula delica Fr. Epicr. syst. mycol. (Upsaliae): 350 (1838) [1836-1838] (Russulaceae)
The fungus commonly known as ‘milk-white brittlegill’ was observed in autumn season in fir
(Abies pindrow)-dominated conifer forest areas of Gulmarg and Tangmarg forests of Kashmir.
The cap was 5.0-14.0 cm across, convex, cup or funnel-shaped, whitish, often tinged yellow
brownish, dry, thick-fleshed and margin strongly in-rolled. Young carpophores were convex
and flattened whereas mature ones were often funnel-shaped. The stipe was 2.0-6.0 x 2.0-4.0
cm, white and hard. The flesh was white. The gills were decurrent, white, often tinged bluish
towards the stem, mostly forked or with cross-connections and interspersed with numerous
short gills. The spores were creamy white, ovoid with warts and measured 8.0-11.0 x 7.0-9.0
µm in size.
2. Russula paludosa Britzelm. (1891) Saccardo's Syll. fung. XI: 30; XXI: 91; XII: 1021; XX:
The fungus was noticed during autumn season in conifer-dominated forests under the canopy of
pine trees (Pinus walichiana) in Tangmarg forests of Kashmir. The cap was 4.0-10.0 cm across,
initially convex and later flattened with central depression, red to blood-red, fleshy, firm,
slightly sticky when moist, half to three-quarters peeling. The stipe was 4.0-9.0 x 1.0-2.2 cm,
white, cylindrical, narrow, club-shaped or swollen in the middle. The flesh was white. The gills
were adnexed, rather pale creamy or whitish, connected by veins at their bases. The spores were
white or cream, ovoid/ elliptic with warts and measured 8.0-10.5 x 7.0–8.0 µm in size.
3. Aleuria aurantia (Pers.) Fuckel, Jb. nassau. Ver. Naturk. 23-24: 325 (1870) 1869-70]
The fungus Aleuria aurantia, often called orange peel fungus, was found on moist humus soil,
growing in clusters in deciduous forests of Zabarvan hills of Kashmir valley in spring season.
The carpophores are cup-shaped, often became flattened or appeared irregularly shaped as a
result of clustered growth habit, reached width of upto 10 cm in dia. The hymenial surface was
bright orange-red above but finely pubescent and fuzzy-whitish underside (at least when
young). The flesh was thin, white and fragile. The spores were white, elliptical, warted and
reticulate when mature; usually with two oil droplets and a prominent apiculus at each end and
measured 16.0-22.0 x 9.0-11.0 µm in size.
4. Mitrophora semilibera (DC) Lév., Annls Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 35: 249 (1846)
The fungus was found in spring season in damp woodlands dominated by broad leaved trees of
Zabarvan forests of Kashmir valley. The cap was 1.5-4.0 cm high, conical with more or less
vertical membranous ridges, dark olive-brown, attached to the stem about half way creating a
skirt like appearance. The stem was 4.0-8.0 x 1.5-2.5 cm, whitish cream and scurfy in colour,
Hitherto unrecorded macrofungi from India
cylindrical and hollow. The spores were cream coloured, smooth, elliptical, without oil droplets
and measured 22.0-28.0 x 14.0-18.0 µm in size.
Fig. 1: Unrecorded macrofungi from India: a = Russula delica, b = Russula paludosa (The inset figures show
the asci and spores of the respective fungus)
Fig. 2: Unrecorded macrofungi from Jammu and Kashmir State: a = Aleuria aurantia b = Mitrophora
semilibera (The inset figures show the asci and spores of the respective fungus)
The study emphasizes on the need for thorough exploration of Kashmir forests for
macrofungi emanating in different seasons, at variable altitudes and under varied environments.
The biodiversity of macrofungi within a natural community or a habitat is considered important
for long term stability of an ecosystem. It is essential to develop on-line data-base for the
description of ectomycorrhizae.
Acknowledgment: The authors are highly grateful to the Department of Science and
Technology, Government of India, New Delhi, India for providing financial grant to undertake
the present investigations.
G.H. Dar et al. 62
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