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Author(s): Srishti Verma, Mahesh Tiwari, R.V. Shukla, Kamlesh Shukla

Email(s): kshukla26@yahoo.co.in

Address: School of Studies in Biotechnology, Pt. Ravi Shankar Shukla University, Raipur (C.G.)
Department of Botany C. M. D. College Bilaspur (C.G.)
*Corresponding author E-mail: kshukla26@yahoo.co.in

Published In:   Volume - 35,      Issue - 1,     Year - 2022


Cite this article:
Verma, Tiwari, Shukla and Shukla (2022). Species of Termitomyces (Agaricales) Occurring in Achanakmar Biosphere Reserve, Chhattisgarh. Journal of Ravishankar University (Part-B: Science), 35(1), pp.87-100.



Species of Termitomyces (Agaricales) Occurring in Achanakmar Biosphere Reserve, Chhattisgarh

Srishti Verma1, Mahesh Tiwari2, R.V. Shukla3, Kamlesh Shukla1*

1 *School of Studies in Biotechnology, Pt.  Ravi Shankar Shukla University, Raipur (C.G.)

2, 3 Department of Botany C. M. D. College Bilaspur (C.G.)

*Corresponding author E-mail: kshukla26@yahoo.co.in

Abstract:

The Agarics as a group, occurs in a varieties of habitat. Some species exist in areas that are geographically separated, while some are known only from restricted areas and many species do seem to show preference for a certain type of natural habitats as well as for a particular substrate. An extensive exploration of wild mushrooms carried out from 2019 to 2021 at different forest ranges of Achanakmar Biosphere Reserve,Chhattisgarh India. Seven different species of Termitomyces namely Termitomycesclypeatus, T. microcarpus, T. rabuorii, T. streatus, T. radicatus, Termitomyces sp. -1, Termitomyces sp -2,  were found in edible form. So far members of the group which are found in soil, dung, plant derbies, independently or in association with particular plant species has minimal documentation and germ-plasm collection from Chhattisgarh state, which is known for the largest forest land and the tribal population.

Key Words:   Agarics, Chhattisgarh, Diversity, Termites, Termitomyces.

 

1.     Introduction

Recent studies have diversified the existence of Termitomyces species in Tanzania, Uganda, of Africa and South - east and west India. The species of Termitomyces grow in association with termites were found to originate from tropical forests (Mosseboet al., 2017; Nobre and Aanen, 2010) like ancient Sal forests of Central – India. The genus is absolutely dependent on the possible symbiont relative termites. The number of fungus-farming Termites’ species is reported approximately 165 in Africa, that belong to 11 genera (Kambhampati and Eggleton, 2000), which are underestimated considering on the novel termite species that has beenalready discovered (Makonde et al., 2013).There are about more than 30 Terimitomyces species have been globally recorded (Tang et al., 2020; Sathiya et al., 2020).

The Achanakmar Biosphere Reserve (ABR) accounts for the occurrence and distribution of many   unexplored novel varieties of Termitomyces and Termites due to the richness of variety of tree species. Because the large tree canopies and huge amount of litter fall in ground surface provide suitable home to various species of both the biological agents. The Sal tree provides shelter for many more species of Termites to build their nests between ridges and furrow at various heights of tree trunks. Nevertheless, the Sal and many other native tree species return back substantial amount of leaf litter that protects soil by water run-off conserving soil moisture under which Termites and microorganisms feed upon and regulate the process of biodegradation, decomposition to humification.

In fact, the species of Termitomyces arelinked with the economic importance of the termites as not a single species of Ternitomyces could be grown independently (Kuja et al., 2014) so far.This is an indication of mutualistic relationship of Termitomyces species with an animal group to place the genus in advance position rather than primitive ectomycorrhizal group. Since the symbiosis phenomenon denoting primitive features of the forest which is a powerful ecological capital in tropics maintaining natural phenomenon (Temperature, precipitation, etc.) to sustain biological lives. However, the inner dynamics of these forests is fragile as everything in the ecosystem is so interdependent that upsetting one part can lead to unknown damage or even destruction of the whole.

Presently, Termitomyces is one of the most popular wild mushrooms among the tribals, because it valued as food supplements and in therapeutic purposes for treatment of various diseases (Fui et al., 2018; Hsieh et al., 2018). The tribals store these mushrooms for off season uses by preserving them traditionally by sun drying and smoking process. The Termitomyces heimii is one of the most popular wild mushrooms, which is under immense collection pressure in the state. Since Chhattisgarh state is the largest tribal state in the country and known for the richness of sal forests, where many of unexplored novel varieties of mushroom are expected, therefore presentstudy brought to light, numerous lesser known Termitomyces species of the ABR.  The study on occurrence and distribution of gilled fungi has been conducted with the help of baiga tribes who are well acquainted with the periods of occurrence in varieties of habitat.

 

2.     Material and Methods

Mushrooms were collected in the morning hours and the essential study of the collected specimens was done at the spot itself, which includes the recording of necessary general information and morphological characteristics regarding the specimen. Habitat photographs of the mushrooms were also taken. The preservation of the specimens was done by drying the specimens in the specially designed cabinet over hot air convector. 

The completely dried specimens were packed in (6” x 4”) sized polythene bags containing crystalline silica gel to moisture absorber and naphthalene balls to prevent the insect-pest infestation. The packets containing the dried samples were then labeled in brief. The spore prints were obtained by removing the pileus and placing over white paper with gills facing the paper and covered with a large petri dish. After preservation of all samples, microscopic observation was done for the identification of particular mushroom.

 

2.1.     Key to the species of Termitomyces:

1.     Carpophores small to medium sized; veil absent ……………………..………… 2

1.     Carpophores medium sized; veil present ………………………………………... 6

2.     Pileus less than 4 cm diam.; pleurocystidia inconstant ……………………...…... 3

2.     Pileus more than 4 cm diam.; pleurocystidia always present …………………..... 4

3.     Pileus 0.6 – 1.2 cm diam., surface yellowish white with mahogany brown, umbo perforatorium; spore 4.25 – 7 × 2.5 – 5 µm; pseudorrhiza and pleurocystidia absent…………………………………………….…………………….… T .microcarpus

3.     Pileus 3.9 cm diameter, surface orange grey with dark brown, conical broad perforatorium; spore 6.5 – 9.75 × 4.25 – 6.5 µm; pseudorrhiza and pleurocystidia present ………………………………………………………………………………….. T. sp. 1

4.     Pseudorrhiza more than 6.2 cm long; gill edges sterile, cheilocystidia without pedicellate cells; pileus plano-convex to applanate with acute to spiniform perforatorium, surface orange grey, brownish orange to yellowish grey ……………….….……………T.striatus

5.     Pileus 5.6 – 7 cm, plano-convex with dark, spiniform perforatorium, surface brownish orange to yellowish grey; pseudorrhiza greyish white to yellowish grey, spore 5.5 – 9.25 × 4 – 5 µm ……………..……………………………………………….….. T. clypeatus

5.     Pileus 5.2 - 6.6 cm, applanate with fawn brown, acute perforatorium, surface orange grey; pseudorrhiza dark brown, crusty; spore 6.25 -8.25 × 3.25 – 5µm…………………………………………………………………..…………T. rabuorii

6.     Pileus 6 – 9.2 cm broad, surface shiny white with greyish brown to brownish     orange, broad umbo perforatorium; pseudorrhiza 30 cm long, smooth; annulus double, spore deposit pinkish white, spores 6.5 – 10.25 × 4.5 – 6.25µm     ………….…………. T. sp. 2

7.     Pileus grayish brown or pale orange, smooth, with dark spiniform umbo, Pseudorrhiza present; cystidia absent……………………………………….T.radicatus

 

3.     Result and Discussion

Termitomyces

Arch. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. Ser. 6(18): 147 (1942)

Most of the species of Termitomyces are highly valued edible mushroom. The taxonomy of the genus has been well studied by Singer (1986). He reported 13 species from all over the world. Manjula (1983) listed 10 Indian species of Termitomyces. Karunet al., (2013) listed 5 species of Termitomyces.  The fungus represents the Indian mycoflora growing frequently throughout the country and studied by many Indian workers including Sharma et al., (2017); Lakhanpal (2014);Raman et al., (2018); Patil et al., (1979); Singh (1965); Sharma et al., (1977);Bhavaniet al., (1980).

Generic characteristics: Habit of the carpophores pluteoid, usually fleshy and large, with prominent, often sharply differentiated umbo; stipe central; spore print pink, lamellae free to adnexed but with decurrent tooth, stipe with a pseudorrhiza and with simple or double veil epicutis consisting of filamentous, hyaline hyphae, hymenophoral trama bilateral, thin, filamentous hyphae, spores hyaline, inamyloid, with a hilum of the open pore type, ellipsoidal, smooth. Basidia normal, cystidia present, tramal hyphae inamyloid, without clamp connections tramal system monomitic.

Eight different species namely T. clypeatus, T. microcarpus, T. rabuorii, T. streatus, T. radiatus, Termitomyces sp. -1, Termitomyces sp -2,  belonging to Termitomyces genera were identified based on the key identification features described by Pegler and Vanhaecke (1994).

Termitomyces clypeatus Heim, Bull. Jard. Bot. Etat.21: 207, 1951.

(Figure 1)

Carpophores 18 – 20.4 cm in height including pseudorrhiza. Pileus 5.6 – 7 cm broad, first conical to convex, then expanding to plano-convex with dark, spiniform perforatorium, surface brownish orange to yellowish grey (6C4 – 4B2), viscid when moist then dry, smooth, glabrous, margin irregular, lobed, splitting at maturity, plane to plano- decurved; cuticle fully peeling; flesh 0.3 cm in thickness, narrowing down to the margin, white to light cream, fleshy, unchanging; taste mild, odour fruity. Lamellae free, crowded, unequal, 0.5 cm wide, lamellulae 2-3 sized, orange white (5A2), unchanging, edges serrate, normal. Spore deposit light orange (5A4) Stipe 7.5 – 8.2 cm above the ground, 0.6 - 0.8 cm near the pileus, 0.9 – 1.1 cm broad near the soil level, central, cylindrical, fleshy, solid, upper portion of the stipe fibrillose, elsewhere smooth, greyish white to yellowish grey (4B1 – 4B2); pseudorrhiza 10.2 – 13 cm, expanded up to 1.6 cm broad then narrowing down (0.6 cm diameter); annulus absent.

Spore 5.5 – 9.25 × 4 – 5 µm, ellipsoid, thin walled, hyaline, with few guttule contents, inamyloid. Basidia 21.5 – 24.75 × 7.25 – 8 µm in size, clavate to narrowly clavate, thin walled, 4-sterigmata, sterigmata up to2.5 µm long. Gill edges sterile; cheilocystidia few, 22.5 – 42.5 × 13.5 - 25 µm, pyriform, thin walled, hyaline.Pleurocystidia 25 – 85 × 15.5 – 37 µm, scattered, pyriform to broadly clavate, thin walled.


Pileus cuticle made up of radially arranged, septate, branched, thin walled, repent hyphae measuring 3 – 7.75 µm diameter. Pileus context homoiomerous, made up of branched, septate, interwoven hyphae measuring 2.5 – 12.5 µm diameter, inflated up to 27.75 µm diameter, oleiferous hyphae present. Hymenophoral trama regular to slightly bilateral divergent, formed of septate, branched, thin walled hyphae measuring 5.75 – 14.75 µm diameter, inflated up to 22.5 µm diameter; subhymenium pseudoparenchymatous, 11.5 µm wide.Stipe hyphae septate, branched, arranged parallel, thickened wall, measuring 3.5 – 12.25 µm diameter, inflated up to 24.75 µm diameter. All hyphae lacking clamp connections.

Fig. 1 Teritomyces clypeatus  A. Basidiocarps, B. Basidiospores, C. Basidia, D. Cheilocystidia, E. Pleurocystidia, F. Fruiting body; Scale bars A=2cm, B-E=10µm.

Collection examined: Chhattisgarh: Achanakmar Biosphere Reserve (ABR), Tilai dabra (660 M), growing gregariously to scattered on humicolous soil under Madhuca indicaand Terminalia chebulatrees.

Comments:Diagnostic features of the above examined collection are in close agreement with T. clypeatus as described by Pegler (1977) except that the spores and pleurocystidia are larger in size and gill edges are serrate rather than entire. This specimen also seems close to North Indian collection as reported by Atri et al., (2005). This species has been earlier reported from Shillong by Verma(vide: Pegler and Vanhaecke, 1994) and Patiala (Punjab) by Atri et al., (2005).

Termitomyces microcarpus (Berk. & Br.) Heim, Mem. Acad. Sci. Instit. France 64: 72, 1941.

(Figure 2)

Carpophores 1.4 – 3.2 cm in height. Pileus 0.6 – 1.2 cm diameter, convex, expanding with umbonate centre, surface yellowish white (1A2), dry, glabrous, radially streaked, centre mahogany brown (8E7), margin decurved, entire, irregular, splitting with age; cuticle fully peeling; flesh less than 0.1 cm, white to yellowish white, unchanging; taste and odour mild . Lamellae adnexed, subdistant to close, unequal, 0.1 cm wide, whitish cream in colour, lamellulae present, unchanging, gill edge serrate. Spore deposit greyish orange (5B3), Stipe 1 – 2.9 cm in length, 0.1 - 0.2 cm diameter, central, cylindrical, equal with slightly bulbous base, white when young then yellowish white (1A2) with maturity, smooth, hollow, pseudorrhiza absent, annulus absent.



Spore 4.25 – 7 × 2.5 – 5 µm, ovoid to ellipsoid, smooth, thin walled, inamyloid, with guttulate contents. Basidia 19.7 – 25 × 7 – 7.7 µm, clavate, guttulate, 2–4 spored, sterigmata up to 2.75 µm long. Gill edges heteromorphous; cheilocystidia 18 – 32.5 × 7.7 – 18.5 µm, pyriform to clavate, mostly clavate, slightly thickened wall. Pleurocystidia not recovered.

Fig. 2 Termitomyces microcarpus (Berk. & Br.) Heim, A. Basidiocarps, B. Basidiospores, C. Basidia, D. Cheilocystidia, E. Fruiting body; Scale bars A=2cm, B-D=10µm.

 

Pileus cuticle formed of slightly interwoven, septate, slightly thickened wall hyphae measuring 2.5 – 10 µm in diameter. Pileus context made up of interwoven, septate, thin walled hyphae measuring 2.75 – 12 µm in diameter. Gill trama regular to subregular, made up of 4.5 – 10.25 µm diameter, septate, branched hyphae; subhymenium pseudoparenchymatous. Stipe hyphae formed of septate, branched, thickened wall hyphae measuring 2 – 7.5 µm in diameter, inflated up to 22.5 µm, oleiferous hyphae present. All hyphae lacking clamp connections.

Collection examined: Chhattisgarh: Achanakmar Biosphere Reserve (ABR), Bharosang - Atariya (520 M), growing in cluster on sandy soil under Shorea robusta tree.

Comments: The details of the present specimen are agreement with T. microcarpus as described byPegler (1977) but slightly differ in the size of the spores (4.25 – 7 × 2.5 – 5 µm) and basidia (19.7 – 25 × 7 – 7.7 µm). Pleurocystidia could not be recovered in the present species which are reported (Pegler, 1977) to be inconstant and rare. It is characterised by small sized carpophores, yellowish white pileus with brownish umbo and absence of pseudorrhiza and veil. This species was recorded earlier from India by Natarajan (1977a) from Tamil Nadu, Rawla et al., (1983) from Chandigarh (Punjab) and Atri et al., (1995) from Patiala (Punjab). Here it is a first record from Chhattisgarh.

Termitomyces rabuorii Otieno. Proc. E. Afr. Acad, 21: 115,t.3 bis., 1966.

(Figure 3)

Carpophores up to 14.8 cm in height including pseudorrhiza. Pileus 5.2 - 6.6 cm broad, convex then expanding and becoming applanate with acute perforatorium, surface orange grey (5B2), centre fawn brown (7E4), smooth, glabrous, brown hair like lines running on the surface, margin decurved, splitting at maturity, lobed, crenate to eroded; cuticle fully peeling; flesh 0.3 cm at disc, narrowing down to margin, white, unchanging on cutting or bruising, fleshy; taste and odour mild. Lamellae free, crowded, 3 -4 sized, 0.3- 0.4 cm wide, white to creamish, unchanging, fragile, edge serrate. Spore deposit pale orange (5A3). Stipe 8.1 cm in length, 0.6 cm in diameter at apex, 0.8 – 1 cm broad near the soil level, white to creamish white, shiny, fleshy-fibrous, solid, fibrillose, unchanging on cutting or bruising, pseudorrhiza up to 6.2 cm long, dark brown, crusty, annulus absent.

Spore 6.25 -8.25 × 3.25 – 5 µm, ovoid to ellipsoid, thin walled, having one or more guttulate contents, with some angular spores, inamyloid, hyaline. Basidia 21.5 – 23.25 × 6 – 7µm, clavate, guttulate, thin walled 4 spored, sterigmata up to 3.25 µm long. Gill edges sterile; cheilocystidia 18.25 -30 × 10 – 17.5 µm, pyriform, hyaline, thin walled. Pleurocystidia 28.75 – 42.5 ×15 – 24.5 µm, broadly clavate to pyriform, hyaline thin walled.

Pileus epicutis made up of radially arranged, branched, septate, repent hyphae measuring 2.5 – 5.25 µm. Pileus context formed of branched, septate, almost parallel hyphae measuring 2.5 -19.5 µm diameter, slightly thickened wall, some hyphae retain the stain. Gill trama subregular to slightly bilateral, hyphae measuring 4 – 14.75 µm, septate; subhymenium pseudoparenchymatous, 7.5 – 9 µm wide. Stipe hyphae septate branched, parallel, measuring 2.25 – 23 µm in diameter. All hyphae lacking clamp connections.

Fig. 3 Teritomyces rabuorii Otieno, A. Basidiocarps, B. Basidiospores, C. Basidia, D. Cheilocystidia, E. Pleurocystidia, F. Fruiting body; Scale bars A=2cm, B-E=10µm.


Collection examined: Chhattisgarh: Achanakmar Biosphere Reserve (ABR), Tilaidabra (660 M), growing solitary to gregarious near and on termitaria under Dendrocalamus strictus tree.

Comments: The present specimen resemble with T. rabuorii in their macroscopic and microscopic details. T. rabuorii has been reported by Natarajan (1977b) from Madras and Atri et al., (2005) from Patiala (Punjab). This collection confirms well with T. rabuorii as reported by Atri et al., (2005) except that the basidia (21.5 – 23.25 × 6 – 7µm instead of 22.5 – 30 × 7.5 - 9 µm) and cheilocystidia (18.25 -30 × 10 – 17.5 µm instead of 24 – 42 × 10.5 – 21 µm) are smaller in size.

Termitomyces striatus(Beeli) Heim var. annulatus Heim. Mem. Acad. Sci. Instit. France 64: 47, 1941.

(Figure 4)

Carpophores up to 34.7 cm in height includingpseudorrhiza. Pileus 6 – 9.2 cm broad, conical at first then convex to parabolic and finally applanate with broad umbo perforatorium, surface shiny white (2A1), centre greyish brown to brownish orange (9D3 – 6C3), viscid when moist, glabrous, having fine squamulose, innate, margin, regular, plane to decurved, splitting at maturity, crenate; cuticle fully peeling; flesh up to 0.7 cm in thickness, white, fleshy, unchanging on cutting or bruising; taste fruity, odour mild. Lamellae free, crowded, 4-5 length, unequal, 0.5 - 0.6 cm in width, white (4A1), edges serrate, unchanging. Spore deposit pinkish white (8A2).Stipe 3 cm above the ground, 1.1 – 2.6 cm broad, broader near annulus, central, cylindrical, fleshy-fibrous, solid, fibrillose, white, pseudorrhiza 30 cm long, 0.6 - 0.8 cm in diameter, orange grey (5B2), almost smooth, somewhere appressed squamulose to cuticle layer; annulus double, membranous, superior, persistent.

Spore 6.5 – 10.25 × 4.5 – 6.25 µm, spherico-ellipsoid to broadly ellipsoid, smooth, thin walled, guttulate, inamyloid. Basidia 27.25 – 37.25 × 7.5 – 8.75 µm, clavate, with guttulate contents, 4-spored, sterigmata up to 3.25 µm long. Gill edges serrate; cheilocystidia 29.75 – 92.5 × 9.75 – 34.75 µm in size, pyriform to clavate, some with pedicellate cells, slightly thickened wall. Pleurocystidia 25.5 – 52.25 × 9.75 – 31.5 µm, pyriform to broadly clavate, thin walled.

Pileus cuticle epicutis formed of septate, branched, slightly interwoven, dense, thin walled hyphae measuring 1.5 – 3.75 µm diameter, sometimes gelatinized. Pileus context made up of septate, branched, interwoven hyphae measuring 2.75 – 9.75 µm diameter, inflated up to 21.25 µm diameter, oleiferous hyphae present. Hymenophoral trama regular to slightly bilateral divergent, formed of septate, branched, thin walled hyphae measuring 2.25 – 15 µm in diameter; subhymenium made up of subregular to interwoven hyphae measuring 4.75 – 9.25 µm. Stipe hyphae septate, branched, arranged almost parallel, measuring 2.25 – 11 µm in diameter, inflated up to 25 µm diameter, oleiferous hyphae present. All hyphae lacking clamp connections.


Fig. 4 Teritomyces striatus (Beeli) Hei var. annulatus Heim, A. Basidiocarps, B. Basidiospores, C. Basidia, D. Cheilocystidia, E. Pleurocystidia, F. Fruiting body; Scale bars A=2cm, B-E=10µm.

 

Collection examined: Chhattisgarh: Achanakmar Biosphere Reserve (ABR), Bharosang - Atariya (520 M), growing gregariously on humicolous soil near termitaria under Shorea robusta tree.

Comments: Diagnostic features of the above examined collection are in close agreement with Termitomycesstriatus var. annulatusas described by Atri et al., (2005) and Pegler (1977) except that the spore, basidia and cheilocystidia are larger in size. The main characteristics of this specimenare medium to large size carpophore, shiny white pileus with greyish brown, broad umbo centre, double annulus and long pseudorrhiza with cuticle layer on the surface. Termitomycesstriatus var. annulatus has been earlier reported from Patiala (Punjab) by Atri et al., (2005).

Termitomyces radicatus Natarajan Curr. Sci. 46: 679-680 (1977)

(Figure 5)

Pileus : upto 5cm in diameter, convex with umbonate perforatorium, dark brown or grey umbo than the rest of the pileus, smooth, slightly viscid, margin serrulate with white flesh; Gills : free, white, soft, edges entire, close to crowded; Stipe : cylindrical solid, tapering towards base with short pseudorrhiza below soil line, white; Annulus : single layered, papery, thin, superior broad, white.Basidiospores : 6-8 × 4-6µm, elliptical to cylindrical, non-amyloid, hyaline, smooth; Basidia : 20-28 × 6-8µm, clavate, 4-spored, hyaline, cystidia not observed; Pileus cuticle : composed of septate irregularly arranged, hyaline, interwoven hyphae; Hymenophoral trama: regular, hyphae, parallely arranged, septate, hyaline; Stipe cuticle : made up of parallely arranged septate, hyaline hyphae.

Habit, Habitat & Distribution: Terrestrial, solitary, found growing on termite nests and in open lawns during rainy season. The species was found distributed along the forest ranges of Motinala of Mandla district. Locally not consumed by tribals.


Fig.5 Termitomyces radicatus, A. Basidiocarps, B. Basidiospores, C. Basidia, D. Fruiting body; Scale bars A=1cm, B-C=10µm.

 

Collection studied: Motinala (Mandla), 18th July 1998 (FGCCM 290). The species has been reported from J&K by Natrajan (1977). The macroscopic and microscopic details of the present specimen resembles well with T. radicatus as described by Natrajan (1977) except slight difference in umbo colour. Since there is not report of its occurrence from MP, it constitutes a new addition to mushroom flora of MP.

Termitomyces Heim Arch. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. VI, 18: 148 (1942).

Termitomyces sp. 1

(Figure 6)

Carpophores up to 15.1 cm in height. Pileus 8.4 cm broad, convex then expanding to almost flat with acute, cinnamon brown (6D6) perforatorium, surface white to greyish white (4A1 – 4B2), viscid when moist, glabrous, white lines running from centre to margin, margin irregular, fine splitting, plane, entire;  cuticle fully peeling; flesh 0.4 - 0.5 cm thick, narrowing down to the margin, white, fleshy, unchanging; taste mild, odour sweet. Lamellae free to adnexed, crowded, unequal, 4-5 length, 0.4 cm wide, normal, white then yellowish grey (4B2), unchanging, edges serrate. Spore deposit yellowish grey (4B2). Stipe 10.3 cm long above the ground, 1 cm diameter, central, upper portion flattened, base cylindrical,  solid, fleshy, striate, white (1A1), shiny, unchanging, expanded to 1.9 cm near the soil level then narrowing down to form  pseudorrhiza measuring 4.2 cm in length; pseudorrhiza solid, fleshy, crusty, cognac brown (6E7); annulus single, ring like, membranous.

Spore 6.75 – 8.75 × 4.5 – 5.5 µm, ovoid to slightly ellipsoid, thin walled, hyaline, containing one to few guttules, inamyloid. Basidia 20.75 - 25 × 6 – 7.75 µm in size, clavate to narrowly clavate, thin walled, 4-spored, sterigmata up to 2 – 2.6 µm long. Gill edges sterile; cheilocystidia abundant, 36 – 63.5 × 20.5 – 27.25 µm, pyriform to inflated clavate, thin walled, hyaline, pedicellate. Pleurocystidia 28 – 72.25 × 17.5 – 36.25 µm in size, scattered, inflated clavate to pyriform, thin walled, hyaline.

Pileus cuticle an epicutis made up of radially arranged repent, septate, thin walled hyphae measuring 2.25 – 5.25 µm in diameter. Pileus context formed of branched septate, interwoven, thin walled hyphae measuring 4 – 15 µm diameter, mostly inflated, inflated up to 50 µm diameter. Hymenophoral trama regular to subregular, made up of septate, branched, thin walled hyphae measuring 4.25 – 12.5 µm diameter, olieferous hyphae present, rare; subhymenium pseudoparenchymatous to interwoven, 8 – 12.5µmwide. Stipe hyphae septate, branched, somewhat parallel, measuring 2.25 – 9.5 µm in diameter inflated up to 24 µm diameter.All hyphae lacking clamp connections.


Fig. 6 Teritomyces sp. 1, A. Basidiocarps, B. Basidiospores, C. Basidia, D. Cheilocystidia, E. Pleurocystidia, F. Fruiting body; Scale bars A=2cm, B-E=10µm.

Collection examined: Chhattisgarh: Achanakmar Biosphere Reserve (ABR), Lamni (565 M), growing solitary near termitaria on humicolous soil under Peltophorum ferrugineum tree.

Comments: This specimen is a species of genus Termitomyces, characterised by white to greyish white pileus with cinnamon brown, obtusely rounded perforatorium, presence of dark, crusty pseudorrhiza and single, ring like, membranous annulus. This specimen seems close to description given for Termitomyces eurrhizus by Pegler (1977). However it differs in some morphological and microscopical characters including smaller carpophores, short pseudorrhiza, spore print colour, and larger cheilocystidia and pleurocystidia. The present specimen may be a variant of T. eurrhizus as the variability of this species has been reported by Pegler (1977). To confirm this species to species level,expert consultation is being made.

Termitomyces Heim Arch. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. VI, 18: 148 (1942).

Termitomyces sp. 2

(Figure 7)

Carpophores up to 6.3 cm in hight. Pileus 8 cm broad, convex then plane finally slightly uplifted with broad umbo, surface white to greyish white (2A1 – 4B1), centre violet brown (10F6), smooth, dry, glabrous, margin plane to slightly uplifted, splitting at maturity, edges crisped; cuticle fully peeling; flesh 0.4 cm in thickness, narrowing down to the margin, white, unchanging, fleshy; taste mild, odour fragrant. Lamellae free, crowded, unequal, lamellulae 3 sized, moderately broad, 0.3 cm wide, greyish white (4B1), unchanging, fragile, edges serrate.Spore deposit creamish white. Stipe up to 3.2 cm above the ground, 1 cm broad, central, cylindrical, expanded to 1.5 cm near the soil level, solid, smooth to slightly striated, fleshy, white to whitish cream; pseudorrhiza 2.5 cm long, up to 0.7 cm in diameter, crusty, solid to stuffed; annulus absent.

Spore 5.5 – 7.5 × 4.5 – 5 µm, ovoid to ellipsoid, creamish, smooth, hyaline, guttulate, inamyloid. Basidia 20 – 27.5 × 7.5 – 9.25 µm in size, clavate, hyaline, 4-spored, sterigmata up to 1.5 µm long. Gill edges heteromorphous with crowded cheilocystidia; cheilocystidia 31 – 37 × 12.5 – 20.5 µm, abundant, hyaline, pyriform, clavate to ventricose, some with 1-2 short pedicellate cells. Pleurocystidia 32.5 – 34 × 12.5 – 13.75 µm, few, clavate, slightly thickened wall.

Pileus cuticle an epicutis, made up of radially parallel, septate, thin walled hyphae measuring 2 – 4.25 µm in diameter, inflated up to 7.75 µm diameter. Pileus context homoiomerous, formed of septate, branched, interwoven, thin walled hyphae measuring 3.75 – 12 µm diameter, inflated up to 35 µm in diameter. Hymenophoral trama regular, made up of septate, branched, parallel, thin walled hyphae measuring 3.75 – 11.5 µm diameter; subhymenium 2-3 layered, pseudoparenchymatous. Stipe hyphae septate, branched, hyaline, thickened wall, measuring 5 – 10 µm in width, inflated up to 27.5 µm diameter. All hyphae lacking clamp connections.


Fig. 7 Teritomyces striatus sp. 2, A. Basidiocarps, B. Basidiospores, C. Basidia, D. Cheilocystidia, E. Pleurocystidia, F. Fruiting body; Scale bars A=2cm, B-E=10µm.

 

Collection examined: Chhattisgarh: Achanakmar Biosphere Reserve (ABR), Atariya (543 M), growing solitary on humicolous soil near termitaria under Terminaliatomentosatree.

Comments:  The medium sized carpophores, plane to slightly uplifted pileus with broad umbo, absence of annulus, stipe which is broader at the soil level and short, crusty pseudorrhiza are the main characters of this specimen. The morphological and microscopic details of this specimen show full conformity with the genus Termitomyces. This is one of the most complicated specimens in our collections of genus Termitomyces which shows some considerable difference from earlier reported species. It’s may be a new variety or new species of the genus Termitomyces.

4.     Conclusion

Species of Termitomyces are one of the wild mushrooms, which have been reported to be under immense collection pressure in the forest areas of chhattisgarh. These are collected and sold in the market during the rainy season when other minor forest products are not available.

The ancient Sal tree known for mycorrhizal association with mushrooms providing shelter to insect, reptiles, mammals including tribals, has a sad history for felling down and planting other types of tree species (Teak, Pine etc.) in its own habitat. This has played devastating role to cut down not only symbiotic association with Termites and Termitomyces, but other wild mushrooms which prefer to grow only in rhizomorphic network of the Sal tree. Surprisingly, we have not been brought it for consideration that above part of upsetting may lead to unknown damage or even destruction of the whole forest ecosystem.So far due to unfavorable conditions many wild macro fungi species have reached up-to the verge of extinction and no effort has been made for consideration of the mushroom flora valued for human health and nutrition. Therefore, documentation and conservation activities in favour of wild mushrooms and their associates should be taken up at the priority basis within the corresponding states in central part of the country.

 

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