Athelia with pip-shaped spores

Corticoids, Crusts, Brackets, and any non-mushroom like fungi growing on wood
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Athelia with pip-shaped spores

Post by Steve » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:39 pm

This was on a broadleaf? log with the slime mould Metatrichia floriformis, Longshaw Estate on Thursday. I keyed it out as being “Athelia” – which seems to be a broadly defined genus. Features which point to Athelia are the very thin, delicate fruiting body, with just a few branched bunches of basidial cells and some basal hyphae, and non-amyloid smooth spores. Also the bluish white colour. There isn’t a lot to look at microscopically as there are no cystidia.
The only Athelia with pip or tear-shaped spores (looking like a smaller version of spores of Cylindrobasidium laeve) is Athelia pyriformis. But as usual there is a fly in the ointment as I got the spores to be 6.5-8 x 4-5, whereas CNE and FOS both have spores up to 10 long. It is also a species found on ferns and grass!
The basidia look OK for A. pyriformis – 4-spored, about 25 x 8 (sterigmata 5 long).
There is also a complete lack of clamps – or at least I couldn’t find any.
The hyphae are about 6 wide which fits A. pyriformis.
The only other Athelia with smaller spores (4.5-6 x 3-3.5) is A. decipiens, which also has narrower hyphae, and is found in conifer woods (CNE). The spores are elliptical rather than pip-shaped. Basidia for this species are much smaller.
1 Field.jpg
Field photo
2 Stereo.jpg
Stereo microscope images, x45 on right
3 Spores in water and meltz  x600 and oil.jpg
Spores in water x600 above, and at in Meltzers x 1000 below
4 CS x 600.jpg
Vertical section x 600, Congo red
5 Bas oil.jpg
Basidium x 1000, Congo Red
6 Branching stack 600.jpg
Basidial layer showing bunches x600, Congo Red

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