Please Check Mycoblastus sanguinarius Specimens

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Neil Sanderson
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Please Check Mycoblastus sanguinarius Specimens

Post by Neil Sanderson »

In Spribille et al (2011) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/50891044 a large number of Mycoblastus sanguinarius collections across the world were sequenced including a single specimen from Scotland (Loch an Eilein, Cairngorms). This study found two semi-cryptic clades one equivalent to Mycoblastus sanguinarius s. str. including the eastern Scottish specimen. The other included the Tasmania M. sanguinarioides but also north hemisphere material from north western and north eastern North America and eastern Russia but not Europe.

Spribille et al did find one morphological character that distinguished Mycoblastus sanguinarius s. str. from M. sanguinarioides: the hymenium of the latter had crystals visible in polarised light, while these are totally lacking from Mycoblastus sanguinarius s. str.

I have been meaning to collect Mycoblastus sanguinarius material when in the uplands to have look myself, but keep forgetting. Finally I remembered when doing a contract lichen survey of Coed Cymerau, Ffestiniog, North Wales, a lichen rich ravine. Astonishingly this specimen proved to have hymenial crystals, so may be M. sanguinarioides, new to Europe.

2022-10-18-27.jpg
M. sanguinarioides? in normal light
2022-10-18-26.jpg
M. sanguinarioides? in polarised light, showing the hymenial crystals.

This will need to be checked by sequencing (but my specimen is scrappy I was just expecting Mycoblastus sanguinarius s. str.!), but looks promising. It would be useful if others in the uplands could check fresh specimens from other areas and seen what they get, or alternatively have a look at older herbarium specimens.

All the best

Neil
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Re: Please Check Mycoblastus sanguinarius Specimens

Post by Neil Sanderson »

OK, we now have conformation from Tony Spribille from the pictures that this is Mycoblastus sanguinarioides, new to Britain. It is not new to Europe after all, it had been found in humid lichen rich ravines in Sweden and Finland since the original paper see https://mycokeys.pensoft.net/article/13375/. As it was found in a humid lichen rich ravine in Wales, this seems a theme and a hint as too where to look for more.

So hypotheses for those out in Mycoblastus sanguinarius land to test: is the bulk of material is ordinary habitats Mycoblastus sanguinarius s. str. and secondly is Mycoblastus sanguinarioides a species of lichen rich humid habitats?

There are some visual hints for Mycoblastus sanguinarioides, well developed Mycoblastus sanguinarioides has flat apothecia surrounded by a thin ring of whitish thalline tissue, while apothecia Mycoblastus sanguinarius s. str. have a distinctly convex disk and a constricted base. My specimen is not that well developed, but the apothecia do not have a constricted base.

2022-10-18-28.jpg
2022-10-18-29.jpg
Mycoblastus sanguinarioides specimen

Neil
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Re: Please Check Mycoblastus sanguinarius Specimens

Post by Neil Sanderson »

An up date on Mycoblastus sanguinarioides. Dave Lamacraft has found some in one of the high altitude woods in Dartmoor, so that is new to England and, as with the Welsh record, it was found in a lichen rich upland rainforest.

image0 copy.png
A cross section in polarising light, with the crystals in the hymenium (the shinny granules) along with a similarly limited amount of red pigment as seen in the Welsh specimen (Dave's picture).

A great find: I would welcome any more specimens of either Mycoblastus sanguinarioides or Mycoblastus sanguinarius from anywhere.

Neil
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petemartin
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Re: Please Check Mycoblastus sanguinarius Specimens

Post by petemartin »

I've been looking at Mycoblastus sanguinarius samples when I've found it over the last couple of months- and not seen any shining in polarised light. Until this one (appalling picture sorry) from Borrowdale yesterday where there appears to be a line of shining "crystals". Is this worth investigating further do you think? ( There's lots of red pigment at the base and apothecia appear to be convex as usual.)
P2160433.JPG
Neil Sanderson
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Re: Please Check Mycoblastus sanguinarius Specimens

Post by Neil Sanderson »

Pete

That looks OK for Mycoblastus sanguinarioides, the original paper states that it is a clear cut difference:
However, systematic examination of apothecial cross-sections revealed that, withoutexception, all individuals of Clade I [Mycoblastus sanguinarioides] possessed microscopic birefringent crystals in the apothecial hymenium (Figs. 2C) which were always lacking in individuals of Clade II [Mycoblastus sanguinarius]
The other features overlap, so only point to the potential identity. The final conformation would be the squence the specimen. I tried getting an ITS sequence from a Mycoblastus sanguinarioides specimen from Wistmans Wood at the DNA workshop last weekend, but the result either failed or needs further amplification (which will be tried). It will be some months before I get the time to master this myself!

I am also very interested in findings of the presumably commoner Mycoblastus sanguinarius, especially habitat, so please pass these on too. Intersting that the Mycoblastus sanguinarioides, was, I assume as from Borrowdale, from a rich area.

Neil
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petemartin
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Re: Please Check Mycoblastus sanguinarius Specimens

Post by petemartin »

Thanks for this- interesting.
It's from a very good bit of humid and lichen-rich habitat at Surprise View. Though not a ravine.
Shall I stick this one in the post to you, and include details of the M sanguinarius I've checked too?
Neil Sanderson
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Re: Please Check Mycoblastus sanguinarius Specimens

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Yes please including the Mycoblastus sanguinarius details (and a Mycoblastus sanguinarius specimen would be nice if you have one handy). Neil
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chriscant
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Re: Please Check Mycoblastus sanguinarius Specimens

Post by chriscant »

Hi. I took a couple of samples of Mycoblastus from our trip in the last week to Knapdale area of Argyll: two separate places.

Both samples look more like M. sanguinarius s. str. as they are pretty convex and probably no crystals.

I'll bring the samples to Edinburgh and hand them over...

Sample A:
Sample A
Sample A
Sample A H2O
Sample A H2O
Sample A Polarised
Sample A Polarised
Sample B:
Sample B
Sample B
Sample B H2O
Sample B H2O
Sample B Polarised
Sample B Polarised
Neil Sanderson
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Re: Please Check Mycoblastus sanguinarius Specimens

Post by Neil Sanderson »

OK, the polarised photos look like there may be crystals. (The other characters are indicative NOT decisive) The crystals are soluble in K, so if you are unsure add K and see what happens. The hymenium goes completely dark as the K dissolves the crystals. Anyway I can have a look. See you at the AGM.

Neil
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