Fungal Genera of the Pune City

Lamrood P. Y.1 & Vaidya J. G.2

1:- 500, Kasba Peth, Pune, 411 011. Email - fifthkingdom@rediffmail.com

2:- Department of Botany, Pune University, Pune, 411 007.


Introduction

Kingdom Fungi constitutes amongst the most diverse group of organisms, that also exhibit myriad enigmatic shapes, caps and parasols, balls and crumples sheets, layered plats and overlapping shingles, muted and gaudy. These appear suddenly amongst the fallen leaves, on trees or encrusting dead wood, just after the first shower of the monsoon. Despite their popularity, not many people know mushrooms as being fruiting, rather spore producing bodies of some fungi. Mushrooms possess pigments of various colours viz. white, cream, red, yellow, lavender, blue, green, pink, orange, brown and even black. However, mushroom lack chlorophyll unlike plants and therefore cannot manufacture their own food from solar energy. They absorb their nourishment, primarily carbohydrates, directly from dead or alive plants and animals and known as saprophytes. Fine cottony threads called hyphae that are networked in to a cobweb, termed mycelium facilitate the absorption. This vegetative part of the fungus lies beneath the soil, lasting from months to millennia, depending on resource supply etc. Under suitable environment, myceliu  produces mushrooms i.e. sporophores annually that shade the spores that are wind dispersed and ultimately generate mycelium. Due to good dispersal ability and durability, fungi inhabit soil, animals, leaves, tree trunk, symbiotically or as parasites.

Fungi are crucial in the terrestrial ecosystem, as dominant decomposers. Plant debris that is rich in lignin, would not yield to even bacteria, is broken down by fungal enzymes. They have application in paper and pulp industries, fruit juice industry, waste-water treatment, textile industry, bakery products, food and feed industry etc. Mushrooms are a delicacy worldwide, white button mushroom (WBM) being commonest. Some mushrooms e.g. shiitake, Pleurotus, Auricularia, even serve as a medicine on several ailments, to reduce blood pressure, on diabetes, to reduce cholesterol etc. The mushrooms are also used for hallucination. About 10% of mushroom species are even poisonous. Unfortunately, little is studied about ecology of these interesting and useful creatures in India, prompting us to undertake this study.

Methodology

Different localities in and around Pune were frequently visited, especially during the monsoon 1999 and 2000. These included forested hills of Sinhagad, Law college and Chandani chowk; banks of Pachan lake, extensive tree plantations in and around University and habitations including small tre  plantations around the Fergusson college. In each locality, fungi were collected opportunistically along random paths. The mushrooms were picked up with the help of a scalpel from the soil or the substrate. General habit and habitat, colour, smell (if any), host plant, surrounding vegetation etc. were noted down in the field. The mushrooms were photographed prior of picking and then were kept in a paper bag carefully with a label showing the collection number, locality and date on the bag. Polypores were removed from the host with help of hammer and a sharp knife and were kept on clean polythene bag. Puffballs and especially damage prone stink horns were both carefully preserved in a clean plastic bag. Few specimens of mushrooms and polypores from each collection were kept for sporeprint. Few of the specimens were oven dried at 600C temperature. The puffballs were also dried and stinkhorns were wet preserved in 2-5% formaline solution. Thin section of fresh specimens were observed under the microscope after staining with Phloxin and cotton blue stain and mounting in the lactophenol. The polypore sections were first treated with 5% KOH solution and then mounted in lactophenol on a clean glass slide with a cover glass after intensive teasing and staining with cotton blue. As for puffballs, the fruiting body was opened to view the number of peridium layers, presence or absence of mucilage sheath and colour of the gliba. Thin sections of gliba, peridium were mounted in lactophenol after staining the section in cotton blue. Various structures seen in the section were noted down systematically and were used along with the sporeprint for identification, using the standard keys (see bibliography).

Results and Discussion

The sampling yielded 71 genera belonging to 68 genera from 28 families (see annexure). Ascomycetes members were represented by 4 genera belonging to 4 families. The remaining 64 genera belonged to Basidiomycetes, with mushrooms constituting 38 of them from 12 families, Gastromycetes constituting 13 genera from 10 families and polypores constituting another 13 genera from 6 families. Table 1 illustrates that extensive tree growth, both wild and planted such as around University, harboured most of these while forests along hills harbored about three fourth. About a quarter taxa are recorded only from woodlands/plantations, but not forests. Forests exclusively harbour just three genera. This can be in part attributed to more intensive studies around University campus. While, these numbers might change after intensive sampling elsewhere, especially in hill forests, the importance of urban plantations in hosting significant fungal diversity will remain as evident. Commonest genera include Merasmius, Hygrocybe, Auricularia, Hexagonia etc.

This high fungal diversity around the University campus can be attributed to old and extensive tree growth, which share most taxa with forests, given wide dispersal ability of fungi. In addition, some fungi favour such plantations, such as Itajahya associated only with Dalbergia melanoxylon, most extensively planted tree in the University. Some recent finds such as Battarrea recorded sine a decade is today common, as a mycorrhizal association. Ganoderma, a root rot fungus reported rare earlier is in fact quite common causing even uprooting of trees. However, some genera have either become rare or locally extinct. We did not actually find the mushroom Lentinus, previously recorded. Likewise, Amanita albofloccosa is also earlier recorded from Pune mentioned but not encountered by us. While greater sampling can help relocate these taxa, the hindrance of stray animals and soil profile modifications due to human activity, dumping of glass; rubber and thermocol waste, urban encroachment, tree cutting etc. pose serious threat to existence of the fungal diversity, especially in the Pune University campus.

Bibliography

Ainsworth G.C., Sparrow, F. K. and Sussman, A. S. 1973. The Fungi: An Advanced Treatise. Vol. IVB, A taxonomic Rewiew with Keys: Basidiomycetes and Lower Fungi. Academic Press.

Pegler, D. 1977. Preliminary Agaric flora of East Africa. Billing & Son's Ltd., Guildford, England.

Ryverden, R. 1991. Genera of Polypores: Nomenclature and Taxonomy. Synopsis Fungorum-5, Fungiflora, Oslo, Norway.

Sathe, A. V. and Deshpande S. 1980. Agaricales of Maharashtra State. Agaricales (Mushrooms) of South West India. Maharashtra Association for Cultivation of Sciences. Monograph No. 1., Pune, India. pp. 9-42.


Table 1 Habitat typewise distribution of fungal genus richness

HABITAT TYPE

No. of total Genera

No. of unshared Genera

Forest (F)

52

3

Plantations (P)

64

15

Habitations (H)

27

0

Lakeside (L)

33

0

ANNEXURE: Distribution of fungal genera across habitat types

F- Forest, S- Scrub, P- Plantation, H- Habitation, L- lake

A- Abundant, C- common, Ex- extinct, O- occassional, R- rare

LOC (Locality): C- Chandani Chowk, P- Pashan,

R- Range Hills, S- Sinhgad, U- University

             

GROUP/FAMILY

GENUS

F/S

P

H

L

LOC

Ascomycetes

           
 

Daldinia

C

C

 

R

 

Geoglossaceae

Geoglossom

R

A

   

U,C

 

Sarcoscypha

C

R

 

R

 

Xylariaceae

Xylaria

C

C

 

O

 

Agaricales (Mushrooms)

           

Agaricaceae

Agaricus

C

C

C

O

 

Bolbitiaceae

Agrocybe

O

C

C

R

 

Tricholomataceae

Anthracophyllum

O

O

C

R

 

Auriculariaceae

Auricularia

C

C

C

   

Bolbitiaceae

Bolbitius

C

O

O

R

 

Tricholomataceae

Calocybe

C

C

C

   

Cantharellaceae

Cantharellus

C

C

R

R

 

Lepiotaceae ?

Chlorolepiota

O

C

R

   

Lepiotaceae

Chlorophyllum

O

C

C

   

Tricholomataceae

Clitocybe

C

C

C

R

 

Bolbitaceae

Conocybe

C

C

C

R

 

Tricholomataceae ?

Copelandia

R

     

S

Coprinaceae

Coprinus

C

C

C

O

 

Tricholomataceae

Favolashchia

 

R

   

U

Tricholomataceae

Hemimycena

 

O

   

U

Hygrophoraceae

Hygrocybe

R

C

   

U,S

Hygrophoraceae

Hygrophorus

R

O

   

U,S

Tricholomataceae

Lactocollybia

 

O

   

U

Tricholomataceae

Lentinus

 

R

   

U,Ex?

Lepiotaceae

Lepiota

O

C

O

O

 

Lepiotaceae

Leucocoprinus

 

R

   

U

Amanitaceae

Limacella

 

R

   

U

Tricholomataceae

Lyophyllum

 

O

   

U

Lepiotaceae

Macrolepiota

O

C

R

   

Tricholomataceae

Marasmiellus

 

R

   

U

Tricholomataceae

Marasmius

C

A

C

A

 

Tricholomataceae

Mycena

C

A

C

A

 

Coprinaceae

Paneolus

R

C

 

O

U,S,P

Strophariaceae

Pholiota

R

C

 

O

U,S,P

Tricholomataceae

Pleurotus

C

A

C

O

 

Entolomataceae

Rhodocybe

 

R

   

U

Tricholomataceae

Schizophyllum

C

A

O

R

 

Tricholomataceae

Termitomyces

O

O

     

Tremellaceae

Tremella

O

A

     

Tricholomataceae

Tricholoma

C

C

O

O

 

Tricholomataceae

Tricholomopsis

C

C

C

R

 
 

Unidentified sp.1

R

     

C

 

Unidentified sp.2

R

     

S

Gasteromycetes (Puffballs, Stink Horns)

           

Astraeaceae

Astraeus

C

C

 

C

 

Tulostomaceae

Battarrea

 

R

   

U

Lycoperdaceae

Bovista

C

C

 

O

 

Nidulariaceae

Cyathus

C

C

O

C

 

Geastraceae

Geastrum

O

C

R

O

 

Phallaceae

Itajahya

 

O

   

U

Lycoperdaceae

Lycoperdon

C

C

R

O

 

Phallaceae

Muntinus

 

R

   

R

Astraeaceae

Myriostoma

 

R

   

U

Phallaceae

Phallus

R

O

   

U,S

Tulostomaceae

Tulostoma

 

O

   

U

 

Unidentified

 

O

   

U

Polypores (Bracket Fungi)

           

Clavariaceae

Clavaria

R

R

   

U,S

Polyporaceae

Daedalea

O

C

 

O

 

Polyporaceae

Daedaleopsis

O

C

 

O

 

Polyporaceae

Favolus

R

O

   

U,S

Ganodermataceae

Ganoderma

C

A

C

C

 

Polyporaceae

Hexagonia

C

A

 

R

 

Hydnaceae

Irpex

C

C

 

O

 
 

Laetiporius?

O

C

 

R

 

Polyporaceae

Microporus

O

O

   

U,S

Polyporaceae

Oxyporous

O

A

     

Hymenochaetaceae

Phellinus

C

A

O

C

 

Podoscyphaceae

Podoscypha

C

A

R

   
 

Ramaria

O

C

R

R

 
 

TOTAL

65

64

27

33

 
 

UNIQUE

3

15

0

0

 

RANWA Home Page

CONTENTS

Back to Pune Alive