Monday, 10 April 2017

Aroramyces balanosporus & Aroramyces herrerae: Two new species of Truffle-like Fungi from Mexico.

Members of the genus Aroramyces are obligate ectomycorrhizal Fungi (Fungi that form mutualistic associations with the roots of Vascular Plants, providing the Plants with nutrients obtained from the soil in return for sugars that the Plants produce by photosynthesis) with Truffle-like fruiting bodies, known from tropical and subtropical regions of Central Africa and northern Queensland, Australia. To date a single species has been described from each continent, though a number of other species are known from Australia and still awaiting formal description.

In a paper published in the journal IMA Fungus on 11 October 2016, Gonzalo Guevara-Guerrero of the Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Victoria, Michael Castellano of the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, and Victor Gómez-Reyes of the Facultad de Biología at the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, describe two new species of Aroramyces from Jalisco and Michoacán States in Mexico, the first members of the genus described from the Americas.

The first new species described is named Aroramyces balanosporus, meaning ‘Acorn-shaped spores’, in reference to the shape of its spores. This species was found in Jalisco and Michoacán states at altitudes of about 1730 m above sea level, in association with the trees Carpinus (Hornbeam), Quercus (Oak), and Styrax (Snowbell). The Basidiomes (fruiting bodies) of this species are subglobose, white and often covered by patches of cottony hyphae, and reach up to 12 mm across. The spores are brownish and ellipsoid with embedded spines and can reach about 10.7 μm. 

Aroramyces balanosporus. (A) Basidiomes, (B)–(D) Basidiospores with spines and equatorial lines. (E) Caespitose groups of erect, branched, setal hyphae. (F) Subcutis and mesocutis of pseudoparechymatous cells. Scale bars: (A) = 1 cm; (B)–(D) = 10 μm; (E)–(F) not to scale. Guevara-Guerrero et al. (2017). 

The second new species described is named Aroramyces herrerae, in honour of the pioneering Mexican mycologist Teófilo Herrera Suárez. This species was found in the mountains of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic belt in Michoacán State, at altitudes of about 2160 m, in association with trees of the genus Quercus (Oak) and Pinus (Pine). The Basidiomes of this species are subglobose, white or brown and often mottled, and can reach 15 μm across. The spores are shaped like grains of rice, with wing-like appendages and can reach 12.5 μm.

Aroramyces herrerae. (G) Crosssection of basidiome. (H)–(I) Basidiospores with inflated utricule. (J) Inner peridium cells, occasionally with inflated hyphae. (K) Clamp connections on encrusted hyphae adherent on the outer peridium. (L) Tramal plate. Scale bars: (G) = 1 cm; (H)–(I) = 10 μm; (J)–(L) not to scale. Guevara-Guerrero et al. (2017).

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