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Africa is an important global reservoir for biological, cultural and traditional knowledge about fungi and lichens, which are used as food, medicine and in mythology, among other things. African human populations are undergoing highly significant changes and adaptation processes, which are accompanied by rapid urbanization, meeting with western civilization, high rural migration and the loss of natural ecosystems. Indigenous knowledge is being lost, including that concerning fungi and lichens. Ethnomycology and ethnolichenology provide a diversity of knowledge about beneficial and poisonous fungi and lichens, and give insights into their sociological impact on human behaviour and use. Here we present a working and publishing environment established with the Diversity Workbench software in line with national and international initiatives for FAIR guided provision of research data. The database application called ‘EthnoMycAfrica’ contains published ethnomycological and ethnolichenological information from Africa. The content is created and curated by team partners from Central, East, West, North and Southern Africa. Data entry is performed both online and offline, optionally via a mobile device. Currently, the system with the tools DiversityDescriptions and DiversityNaviKey contains a total of 1350 well-structured and freely and openly accessible data records. EthnoMycAfrica is the first database with a data schema, standard descriptors and data content created mainly by African scholars. The data can be useful for researchers, students, conservationists, policy makers, and others. It will also provide a basis for facilitating hypothesis generation and meta-analysis.
The taxonomic and nomenclatural status of the common Scutula (Ramalinaceae, Lecanorales, Ascomycota) parasitizing species of Solorina (Peltigeraceae, Lecanorales) is clarified. The type of Biatorina tuberculosa Th. Fr., which, according to the protologue, was described from a Peltigera, is actually growing on Solorina saccata, and the correct name for this species is here shown to be Scutula tuberculosa (Th. Fr.) Rehm. Lectotypes are designated for Lecidea solorinaria Nyl., Scutula krempelhuberi Körb. and Lecidea solorinicola Vain. Notes on the taxonomy and classification of the genus are given, and a key to the species of Scutula s. str. in the Northern Hemisphere is presented. Scutula tuberculosa is reported as new to Asia and North America.
Zwackhiomyces cervinae Calat., Triebel & Pérez-Ortega is described as new to science from Spain and Iran. This lichenicolous species grows on the lateral side of the squamules of Acarospora cervina, and it is characterized by its relatively large ascospores, which are brown when overmature. It is compared with several Zwackhiomyces species and with other taxa sharing some of its characters. A key to all the known species of the genus is also provided.
A fossil ascomycete was found attached to the thorax of a stalk eyed fly (Diopsidae: Prosphyracephala succini) in a fragment of Baltic amber. The fungus is assigned to the extant genus Stigmatomyces and described as S. succini sp. nov. This find is the first fossil record of the order Laboulbeniales. At the same time it constitutes the oldest record of a parasitic fungus on an insect. The palaeohabitat is discussed with regard to the find.
Stigmidium cartilagineae Calatayud &Triebel (on the apothecial discs of Squamarina cartilaginea), a lichenicolous fungus belonging to Stigmidium s. str., is described as new. Two other species of Stigmidium s. 1. with a net of branched and anastomosing, rudimentary interascal filaments are also described as new to science: Stigmidium rouxianum Calatayud & Triebel (on Acarospora cervina) and S. squamarinicola Calatayud & Triebel (on the thallus of Squamarina spp.). They are related to Stigmidium psorae and treated here as ‘Stigmidium’ psorae group. To facilitate discussion of the distinguishing features of this group, a table comparing the terms referring to hamathecial hyphae in pyrenocarpous ascomycetes is presented.
This month Mycological Research News features a report of an extraordinary richness of undescribed truffle-like fungi in Australia, and
an explanation of why mycologists should always deposit voucher specimens and cultures to enable their work to be validated, co-authored by 18 mycologists.
Amongst the 21 papers included in this issue are three on the biocontrol of insect pests by Erynia and Metarhizium species,
including methods of application and longevity of conidial preparations. Biomass estimations by ergosterol in decomposing leaves in
the Everglades, and by chitin in Crinipellis infections on cacao are described. Variation in Phytophthora infestans provides evidence of
heterokaryons, conidial production in Colletotrichum acutatum is favoured by monsoon conditions, and the conidia of Pestalotiopsis
neglecta inhibit other fungi. Six papers on mycorrhizas address competition with saprobic fungi and other ectomycorrhizal species, the
characterization of a chitin synthase, variation at the molecular level in two endomycorrhizal fungi, a culture technique, and the early
response of tobacco roots to colonization. Amongst other papers are ones characterizing a protease in Schizophyllum, describing
incompatability groups in Pleurotus tuberregium, and showing different Venturia species attack different pears.
The following new scientific names are introduced: Pseudohelicomyces gen. nov.; Anthostomella acuminata, A. applanata, A. caffrariae,
A. colligata, A. meerensis, A. palmae, A. raphiae, A. spiralis, Pseudohelicomyces albus, Ramulispora cerealis, and Trichoderma stromaticum
Spirographa vinosa Holien & Triebel is described from boreal spruce forest of Norway. It is lichenicolous on different species of Ochrolechia and Pertusaria. Within the genus S. vinosa is characterized by its 8-spored asci, up to 5-septate ascospores with obtuse ends and its apothecial pigments causing aeruginose and purplish reactions with KOH.
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