Termitomyces Species from Tanzania, Their Cultural Properties and Unequalled Basidiospores
Termitomyces R. Heim, a basidiomycete fungus lives in a mutualistic symbiosis with termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae. This study explored the cultural properties and macro-micromorphological characters including scanning electron microscopic studies of ten Termitomyces species collected from different parts of Tanzania. Pure cultures were isolated from the asexual fruit bodies growing on or near the termite mound by tissue culture techniques in three different media Ghosh, Hagem Modess, and Modified Malt Extract Agar. The results showed that Termitomyces aurantiacus (Heim) Heim and Termitomyces striatus Heim have unsmooth basidiospore, the character noted for the first time in this genus, and the two species might be conspecific. In cultures, while micromorphological characters remain undistinguishable between taxa, Macromorphological characters distinguished them in colour of the mat, growth rate, mycelia elevation and advancing zones as well as the mat texture. T. saggitiformis (Kalchbr. & Cooke) D.A. Reid, T. titanicus Pegler & Piearce species are reported for the first time in the country record and key to the studied species is supplied. This study suggests the redefining of the genus by omitting the smooth or adding unsmooth basidiospore character in the genus circumscription.
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