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Otidea subterranea sp. nov.: Otidea goes below ground.

Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
Mycological Research (Impact Factor: 2.81). 06/2009; 113(Pt 8):858-66. DOI: 10.1016/j.mycres.2009.04.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Evidence suggests that truffle-like sporocarp forms have evolved many times in the Pezizales, but primarily from epigeous ancestors within ectomycorrhizal clades. There are several ectomycorrhizal clades, however, that contain no known hypogeous species. We collected specimens of an unusual unidentified truffle from mixed oak woodlands in Iowa. Although clearly a member of the Pezizales (Ascomycota), this hypogeous species did not belong to any of the described truffle genera. Based on a combination of ecological, phylogenetic, and morphological evidence we determined that this new truffle is a hypogeous member of the genus Otidea (Pyronemataceae), a lineage with no described truffle species. We describe it here as a new species, Otidea subterranea.

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    ABSTRACT: The easily recognised genus Otidea is subjected to numerous problems in species identification. A number of old names have undergone various interpretations, materials from different continents have not been compared and misidentifications occur commonly. In this context, Otidea is monographed, based on our multiple gene phylogenies assessing species boundaries and comparative morphological characters (see Hansen & Olariaga 2015). All names combined in or synonymised with Otidea are dealt with. Thirty-three species are treated, with full descriptions and colour illustrations provided for 25 of these. Five new species are described, viz. O. borealis, O. brunneo­parva, O. oregonensis, O. pseudoleporina and O. subformicarum. Otidea cantharella var. minor and O. onotica var. brevispora are elevated to species rank. Otideopsis kaushalii is combined in the genus Otidea. A key to the species of Otidea is given. An LSU dataset containing 167 sequences (with 44 newly generated in this study) is analysed to place collections and determine whether the named Otidea sequences in GenBank were identified correctly. Fourty-nine new ITS sequences were generated in this study. The ITS region is too variable to align across Otidea, but had low intraspecific variation and it aided in species identifications. Thirty type collections were studied, and ITS and LSU sequences are provided for 12 of these. A neotype is designated for O. cantharella and epitypes for O. concinna, O. leporina and O. onotica, along with several lectotypifications. The apothecial colour and shape, and spore characters are important for species identification. We conclude that to distinguish closely related or morphologically similar species, a combination of additional features are needed, i.e. the shape of the paraphyses, ectal excipulum structure, types of ectal excipulum resinous exudates and their reactions in Melzer’s reagent and KOH, tomentum and basal mycelium colours and exudates. The KOH reaction of excipular resinous exudates and basal mycelium are introduced as novel taxonomic characters.
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