Ascomycete.org has published our paper about two rare pyrophilous Discomycetes recorded for the first time in Siberia. These species connected with the post-fire habitats and therefore (and probably from other reasons) are rarely met. There was a few collections before made in European part of Russia and in the Far East. New data to the ranges of species and their ecology are reported thereby. Two species are close in morphology. Indeed, we mixed up identifications ourselves at first (P. rubra was identified as R. rosea and vice versa). This thing needed clarity, and we tried to picture and describe the distinguishing characters. We also tried to cultivate P. rubra (imagine what fun it would be to have beds of bright pink apothecia growing in your garden:). And although the species refused to produce the teleomorph in artificial conditions, the anamorphic stage was easily growing and was described. This publication may by a very small contribution to the study of hundreds of rare and poorly known species in the region, but these beauties deserved it, i believe.
Nina Filippova, Tatiana Bulyonkova, Uwe Lindemann. New records of two pyrophilous ascomycetes from Siberia: Pyropyxis rubra and Rhodotarzetta rosea. Ascomycete.org, 8 (4): 119-126.
One of our current projects concerns an interesting Discomycete species from Hyaloscyphaceae found several years ago on shed leaves of Andromeda in Mukhrino bog. I picked it first during the study of Andromeda fungal consortium. The species was no assigned to any existing description, and seems to be a new taxon. H.-O. Baral made his comments about: «You fungus is unknown to me. It resembles a Hyphodiscus but it would not surprise me if it goes elsewhere.» On this basis, the goal is to find out the taxonomical position of this species by classical morphological and molecular methods. Presently, i am collecting more and more litter of Andromeda to gather enough apothecia for molecular analysis and for the deposition in the herbaria. The species is regularly met, but it is not abundant, so that a lot of leaves should be browsed under the lens. I am collecting the leaves with the apothecia as well as trying to remove the apothecia by the needle to store them in a test-tube (for the molecular analysis). The description of the morphological characters and pictures were done in vital state (see prepared plates below). There was an attempt to cultivate it in pure culture. For this, the whole apothecia were removed from the leaves and inoculated on the media (PDA). And while this way brings high contamination (the apothecia are not clean from fungi and bacteria themselves) compared to more elaborate technics (single-spore inoculation), there are several cultures growing now that could be potentially the anamorphic stage of the species. One of them has lobed fan-shaped colonies that stain the media in bright pink color. But it need more time waiting for it to sporulate to determine its true identity. Finally, i hope that Eugene Popov will make the molecular work. He already tried to do this last year, but the were too few of apothecia and/or they were contaminated, that probably caused failure. It will need more thorough work.
I hope that this species will finally described. It has beautiful apothecia which appear on the underside of the Andromeda leaves. It is probably a weakly parasitic species, as it grow on recently shed leaves. And it is highly host specific, was never found on other species in the bog. Very interesting from ecological perspective, and also could be important one in the taxonomy of Hyaloscyphaceae.
There is no well-illustrated Atlas for determination of Mushrooms in our region, and one day this gap should be filled. Fungi are so beautiful, attractive from many perspectives, and valuable organisms. Yet, trying to recognize one picked in the forests specimen you should turn to either scientific guide like FN (too many terms, a lot of species) or some popular guides which are written for other areas and not always ready to answer your question. At the same time, we are accumulating more and more pictures, drawings (which are connected to the specimens) in our Fungarium and in personal collections. They are newly coming papers as well, and i hope that all this will make a path toward such illustrated regional Atlas of Fungi (?of boreal zone of West Siberia may be?). Lately, Tatiana impressed me by her graphical drawings of fungal microstructures. She makes these detailed sketches for well known and recognized species, that she has in her collection (Yuganskiy nature reserve).