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The position of several endemic and rare species in Agaricus sect. Duploannulati and the limits of the section were investigated by analysis of sequence data from the ribosomal DNA ITS. The results supported the recognition of two groups, which we treat as subsections Chitonioides and Duploannulati. Most of the species studied proved to belong to subsect. Chitonioides. Species excluded from the section, as well as other potential members of sect. Duploannulati, are considered. Morphological traits deemed important for identification of A. nevoi, A. pequinii, A. gennadii, A. rollanii, and A. padanus are discussed. Taxonomic positions of these species in morphologically-based systems and according to molecular systematics data are compared and analyzed.
Random amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction (RAPD–PCR) was used to assess the genetic diversity in twelve populations (a total of 144 isolates) of the Pleurotus eryngii complex, sampled in Israel. Our results show a higher level of diversity of RAPD polymorphism in the populations, especially in the drier, stressful climates. Twelve primers used in this study amplified 164 scorable RAPD loci, of which 163 (99.4%) were polymorphic and only 1 monomorphic. Out of the 164 loci, 123 (75%) varied significantly (P < 0.05) in allele frequencies among populations. This total proportion (75%) of significant polymorphic loci far exceeds the 5% level expected by chance (binomial test, P < 0.000001). The levels of polymorphism and gene diversity appeared to be highly significantly different between the populations. Sixty-eight per cent of the RAPD diversity was within populations and 32% was between populations. Inter-population genetic distances showed positive association with geographic distance, which was confirmed with spatial autocorrelation analysis of RAPD frequencies. Spearman rank correlation revealed a strong positive association between high polymorphism and the aridity index. In multiple regression, the coefficient of determination of polymorphism and gene diversity was explained by climatic variables linked to temperature and humidity. Our findings further demonstrate the validity of the ‘environmental theory of genetic diversity' hypothesis within P. eryngii populations in Israel. We suggest that natural selection develops a high level of RAPD polymorphism as adaptation to cope with stressful and temporally heterogeneous environments.
To investigate the spatial and temporal diversity in the fungal community of the Dead Sea, we collected Dead Sea water samples at eight near-shore localities and at different stations offshore over a 1-year period (1999–2000). In addition, depth profiles were sampled at a deep station (304 m) in the centre of the sea. In the course of the study we obtained 476 isolates, comprising 38 species from 19 genera of Oomycota (1), Zygomycota (2), Ascomycota (13), and mitosporic fungi (3). This brings the total number of species recovered from the Dead Sea to 55. Approximately 43% of the isolates belonged to the genera Aspergillus and Eurotium. Most of the species found appeared only in winter. Fungal diversity increased near the outlets of less saline springs near the shore. The species Aspergillus terreus, A. sydowii, A. versicolor, Eurotium herbariorum, Penicillium westlingii, Cladosporium cladosporoides and C. sphaerospermum were isolated consistently and probably form a stable core of the community. The results suggest that a remarkably diverse fungal diversity may be found in the hypersaline Dead Sea waters. To what extent the fungal diversity recovered was present as dormant spores or as vegetative mycelia remains to be determined.
This month Mycological Research News reports how elevated carbon dioxide levels affect soil fungi, on cryptic species of
macromycetes and species concepts, punching appressoria, and fungi in the Dead Sea. Amongst the topics covered in the 17
research papers included in this issue are ones presenting a new molecular taxonomy for Metarhizium, insights into the taxonomy of
small-spored Alternaria species, sequencing and expression of an enolase gene in Cunninghamella, a novel extracellular protease from
Beauveria bassiana, tests of different mathematical models on the effect on a lichen's growth by neighbouring thalli, how the taenia in
Trichiales capillitium is formed, histological details of the incompatibility reaction between Plasmodiophora brassicae and Arabidopsis,
and a key to the known Beltraniopsis species. The following new species and varieties are described: Beltraniopsis miconiae,
Chrysosporium fluviale, Leptographium piceaperdum, and Metarhizium anisopilae vars acridum, lepidotum, and majus, and M. flavoviride
vars novazealandicum and pemphigum.
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