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Elaphomyces muricatus and Fischerula macrospora, two interesting hypogeous fungi from Greece

Elaphomyces muricatus and Fischerula macrospora,
two interesting hypogeous fungi from Greece
Aristidou 17 Sokratous 40
ΤΚ 51100, Grevena – Greece TK 19016, Artemis Attiki – Greece, 4 (5) : 95-98.
Octobre 2012
Mise en ligne le 22/10/2012
Summary: This paper discusses two hypogeous ascomycetes recently recorded in Greece, Ela-
phomyces muricatus and Fischerula macrospora. Descriptions based on the samples that were
found are provided, accompanied by macroscopic and microscopic images.
Keywords: Ascomycota, Eurotiales, Pezizales, taxonomy.
The arrival of the first truffle hounds from Italy in 2007 has
prompted an intensive research on hypogeous fungi in
Greece. This has resulted in the publication of several pa-
AGNELLO & KAOUNAS, 2010 and 2011), while for some species,
the Greek collections have helped clarifying important taxo-
nomical issues (ALVARADO et al., 2011; KAOUNAS et al., 2011).
Elaphomyces muricatus Fr. is widely recorded in Europe and
appears to be the most common representative of the genus
in Greece. By contrast, Fischerula macrospora Mattir. is
scarcely reported and appears to be rare.
Materials and methods
Macroscopic characters are described from fresh speci-
mens. For the microscopic examination a trinocular micro-
scope was used, Nikon Eclipse E100, with plan achromatic
objectives 4×, 10×, 40× and 100× in oil immersion. Micro-
scopic characters were determined from sections mounted
in water for pigments and measurements: Melzer’s reagent
and Cotton blue were used to highlight the ornamentation;
Congo red was used to highlight the walls of the elements.
Spore dimensions are based on at least 30 randomly selec-
ted spores, excluding ornamentation. The Elaphomyces spe-
cimens were discovered without the aid of hounds, while the
Fischerula specimens were discovered with the aid of
hounds. The primary sources used for identification are HAW-
KER (1953), PEGLER et al. (1993), ASTIER (1998), MONTECCHI &
SARASINI (2000), GORI (2005) and KONSTANTINIDIS (2009).
Elaphomyces muricatus Fr., Syst. mycol., 3 (1): 59 (1829)
Ceraunium muricatum (Fr.) Wallr., Fl. Crypt. Ger., 2: 407
=Elaphomyces variegatus Vittad., Monogr. Tuberac.:68
(1831); Lycoperdastrum variegatum (Vittad.) O. Kuntze,
Revis. gen. pl., 2: 858 (1891).
=Elaphomyces hirtus Tul. & C. Tul., Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., sér.
2, 16: 23 (1841).
=Elaphomyces scaber J. Schröt., in Cohn, Krypt.-Fl. Schle-
sien, 3.2(1–2): 223 (1893) [1908].
Original description
Ε. muricatus, globosus, aculeis subtetragonis stipatis muricatus,
sporidiis nigricantibus.
Colore et statura priori similis, sed, differt forma magis aequali,
globosa (minore saepius); duritie demum fere lignosa ob peridium
junius saltim crassius; superficie tota obtecta aculeis (non pertu-
sis) stipatis acutis! tetra-pentagonis, unde muricata, sporidiis
minus intense atris et praecipue cellulis punctiformibus, Dothi-
dearum referentibus in peridio, quo evidentior fit analogia cum Tu-
bere; addito odore non ingrato. Color fulvus, in exoleto fuscus. Non
igitur miremur Linnaeum ex externa facie hanc speciem potius
cum Tubere, quam cum praecedente conjunxisse. Verum Tuber in
Suecia hactenus non lectum est. Cum priori tam in fagetis, pinetis,
at apud nos vulgatior. (v. v.) Obs. 1. Memorabiles sunt illae cellulae
Dothideaceae in hujus peridio et granula prioris Sphaeriaemorpha
superficialia, ob quae eum Haller Sphaeriam dixit. Adhuc magis
singulare videtur duas Sphaeriae species ex his tantum oriri, quare
pro illarum volvis habiti fuerunt. Hactenus equidem Sphaeriam ca-
pitatam ad El. granulosum, Spl. οphioglossoidem in El. muricato
legi; quod tamen οmnino constans esse, nondum affirmare audeo.
Ascomata: subglobose to elongated, 0.5–2 (4) cm in dia-
meter, hard, dermatoid, becoming fragile at maturity, yellow
at first, then luminous tawny or orange, finally brownish-
orange, ochre-brownish or mustard-brown, with small pyra-
midal spikes on the exoperidium, usually wrapped in a tight
network of rhizomorphs arising from the mycelium. Peridium:
1–2.5 cm thick, variable in colour, yellowish or orange-yel-
low, sometimes with pink or brown areas, heterogeneous,
endoperidium darker, purplish-brown, with prominent whi-
tish veins. Gleba: whitish-pink or greyish-pink at first, with
pinkish tramal plates, finally purplish-black and powdery.
Smell insignificant or unpleasant in maturity (“of gas” ac-
cording to literature).
Spores: initially hyaline, later purplish-brown, (15) 15.7–21.7
(28) × 14.5–20.6 (26) µm, with spikes up to (1.5) 1.7–2.3
(2.5) μm, having the form of a walking stick. Asci: subglo-
bose to broadly ellipsoid, with thin walls, 30–40 μm in dia-
meter, transitory.
Habitat: widespread in the northern hemisphere, fruiting gre-
gariously throughout the year, hypogeously or semi-hypo-
geously under broadleaved trees (mainly Fagus sp. but also
Quercus sp., Castanea sativa and Betula sp.) and conifers
(mainly Pinus sp.), on acidic soils. Sometimes parasitized by
Elaphocordyceps capitata (Holmsk.) G.H. Sung, J.M. Sung &
Spatafora (2007).
Studied collections: 14.04.2007, Zagora, under Fagus sp.,
ca 1100 m, GK 2226; 28.04.2007, Elatia Drama, under
Fagus sp., GK 2199; 29.10.2007, Zagora, under Fagus sp.,
ca 1100 m, VK 48; 29.06.2008, Zagora, under Fagus sp., ca
1100 m, VK 432; 30.05.2009, Trikala, under Quercus sp.,
GK 3880; 04.07.2010, Zagora, under Fagus sp., ca 1100 m,
VK 1505; 01.03.2011, Platania Kozani, under Quercus sp.,
GK 5600; 12.12.2011, Kastoria, under Fagus sp., ca
1000 m, VK 2385. All above collections were determined by
G. Konstantinidis and V. Kaounas and are conserved in GK
and VK personal herbarium.
Some authors like PEGLER et al. (1993) consider Elapho-
myces reticulatus Vittad. synonymous with E. muricatus,
while others like LAWRYNOWICZ (2006) consider it as a form of
the latter. The most obvious and constant features differen-
tiating E. muricatus from E. granulatus and E. asperulus, are
the fleshy layer of marbling in the peridium and the different
size and ornamentation of its spores. The more similar E. de-
cipiens Vittad. is distinguished by the paler color of its peri-
dium consisting of flat warts on a white background and the
almost unseparable mycelial mass usually surrounding the
fruitbody. The Greek specimens by their morphological fea-
tures match well the descriptions in HAWKER (1953), MON-
TECCHI & SARASINI (2000) and GORI (2005).
Fig. 1 — Elaphomyces muricatus
Left: Collection 2010 from Zagora (Greece). Picture: V. Kaounas.
Right: Detail of peridium and gleba, featuring the mature gleba and thick peridium with white veins. Picture: G. Konstantinidis.
Fig. 2 — Elaphomyces muricatus
A. Peridium. B. Detail of the peridium, appear the dense
orange pyramidoidal ledges that are overage from rhizo-
morphs. C. Ascospores ×400. D. Ascospores ×1000.
Pictures: A, C, D = G. Konstantinidis, B = V. Kaounas.
Fischerula macrospora Mattir., Nuovo G. bot. ital., 34: 1348
Original description
Exposita Generis Diagnosis unica tantum cum hac hucusque co-
gnita specie convenit.1
Fischerula Mattirolo — Nov. Genus.
A Tuberaceis adhuc notis eximium hoc novum Genus, ascorum,
sporarumque habitu differt, dum facies universa cum aliis fungis
hypogeais (praesertim e Genere « Tuber ») plerumque convenit.
Peridio irregulari, difformi, circumvoluto, contextu pseudoparen-
chymatico; colore umbrino-luteo notato.
Carne fuliginea, venis luteis filiformibus dispersis.
Ascis amplis, meiribranis spissis, formam praebentibus ovatam
(130 usque ad 179 micra et ultra long. secundum sporarum in-
clusarum numerum) basi leviter attenuatis.
Sporis raro unicis; plerumque 2-3-4 in singulis ascis, magnis (50-
70 long. et ultra; 40-50 lat. et ultra); non aculeatis, nec alveolatis
(uti in Genere « Tuber »); sed dense verrucosis; verrucis difformi-
bus, irregularibus, latis; colore saturate castaneo-badio, illum Hyd-
nothriae quodammodo referente.
Genus hoc clarissimo Eduardo FISCHER in Bernensi Athenaeo Bo-
tanices Professori, de Tuberibus optime merito, libenter D. et D.,
dum posterius accuratam illustrationem in lucem edere censeo.
Ascomata: irregularly globose or lobate, 1–2 cm in diame-
ter, brownish, yellow-brownish or ochre-brownish, darkening
when touched or exposed to the air. Peridium: pseudopa-
renchymatic, covered in a reddish, tomentose layer, irregu-
larly cracking in maturity. Gleba: compact, light greyish
initially, finally dark brownish-grey or black with paler veins.
It has a sweetish flavor and a pleasant smell, reminiscent of
Tuber species.
Spores: ellipsoid, reddish brown, (38.7) 47.2–62.3 (77.5) ×
(25.8) 31.1–42.1 (55.5) µm, with the rough, dense, irregu-
lar, dark brown spikes in maturity. The dimensions of spores
are similar to those of GORI (2005). Asci: large, oblong, thick
Fig. 3 — Fischerula macrospora
Left: Collection 2011 from Mainalon (Greece). Picture: G. Proutzopoulos.
Right: Collection from Gavros Kastoria (Greece). Picture: G. Konstantinidis.
1This diagnosis was based on the only species of the new genus Fischerula Matt. we report fully below.
Fig. 4 — Fischerula macrospora
A. Gleba. B. Ascospores ×100. C. Ascospores ×400.
D. Ascospores ×1000.
Pictures: G. Konstantinidis.
walled, (120–180 × 60–120 μm), containing (1) 2–4 (6) as-
Habitat: fruiting hypogeously in fall under broadleaved trees.
Studied collections: 01.11.2007, Gavros Kastoria, under
Fagus sp., ca 850 m, GK 2679; 07.11.2007, Gavros Kasto-
ria, under Fagus sp., ca 850 m, GK 2748; 15.10.2011, Mai-
nalon, under Abies cephalonica, ca 1400 m, VK 2275 and
GK 5818. All collections were determined by G. Konstanti-
nidis and V. Kaounas and are conserved in the GK and VK
personal herbarium.
Fischerula macrospora was described by MATTIROLO (1928)
from central Italy. A second species, F. subcaulis, was des-
cribed by TRAPPE (1975); molecular data was obtained by
O’DONNELL et al. (1997) and TRAPPE et al. (2007). This spe-
cies belongs to the lineage of the Morchellaceae-Discina-
ceae (LÆSSØE & HANSEN, 2007; PERRY et al., 2007) families,
although its position has not yet been fully resolved. So far
it is reported only from Italy, Spain, Sweden and Greece. The
Greek specimens by their morphological features match well
the descriptions in TRAPPE (1979), VIDAL (1997), ASTIER (1998),
MONTECCHI & SARASINI (2000) and GORI (2005).
The authors are indebted to G. Setkos (Kastoria), D. Kleisiari
(Grevena), G. Prountzopoulos (Athens), A. Papatsanis (Thes-
saloniki), D. Papadopoulou (Thessaloniki) and D. Tabouras
(Trikala) for the collections of Elaphomyces and Fischerula
presented here and to M. Loizides (Lemesos), secretary of
the Cyprus Mycological Association for the editing of this
paper and Carlo Agnello (Italy) for his decisive directives and
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... Those species occur throughout Europe, and are also known from Asia and North America. The finding of Elaphomyces muricatus in Armenia along with recent findings of this and other Elaphomyces species from other countries (KONSTANTINIDIS & KAOUNAS 2012, LACHEVA 2012, WANG 2011, LAESSØE & al. 2009, KUTORGA & KATARŽYTĖ 2008 shows that geographical distribution and ecological adaptation of these fungi are wider than known so far. Recent publications show that Elaphomyces, particularly E. muricatus and E. granulatus, grow also in northernmost countries (e.g., Norway), can reach up to middle and high mountainous zones (e.g. ...
... Recent publications show that Elaphomyces, particularly E. muricatus and E. granulatus, grow also in northernmost countries (e.g., Norway), can reach up to middle and high mountainous zones (e.g. E. muricatus and E. granulatus in Armenia and E. granulatus in Taiwan) and that the preference of host plants and soil conditions are wider (for details see also PEGLER & al. 1993, LAWRYNOWICZ 1988, HAWKER 1954, KONSTANTINIDIS & KAOUNAS 2012, CAZARES 1992, WANG 2011. ...
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Elaphomyces muricatus, new for Armenia, and E. granulatus have been found in the forests of Vanadzor and Dilijan in Armenia. Morphology, anatomy, as well as ecology and geographical distribution of E. muricatus are described. The ecological adaptation and geographical distribution of the genus Elaphomyces are wider than known before.
... Some of the items found seem to be fairly rare in our country, as demonstrated by the results of six years of research. This has led to the publication of several papers (DIAMANDIS & PERLEROU, 2008; KONSTANTINIDIS, 2009; AGNELLO & KAOUNAS, 2010 KONSTANTINIDIS & KAOUNAS, 2012) and, in some cases, the Greek collections helped to clarify certain important taxonomical issues ( KAOUNAS et al., 2011; ALVARADO et al., 2012). It seems that the species here presented are rare in our country because DIAMANDIS & PERLEROU (2008) have only reported one collection of Mattirolomyces terfezioides (Mattir.) ...
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