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Welcome to the site. Please feel free to post your own observation with the Flickr image linked in your comment, and we can move the discussion there.
Thanks for the new species list, Danny!
It’s not that I’m particularly surprised to see sulfur-yellow in the family, per se (I do remember that Podosordaria quite fondly), but that I’ve never seen, nor head of, any Xylaria with quite such striking coloration. I think the Xylaria comosa group, in particular, are often yellow pigmented when young — I have some pretty striking photos from Ecuador in 2012 that I should post up, showing that, actually.
And, to further the idea of banding together in the tropics, I’m pretty sure that post-dissertation I’ll be focusing pretty heavily on illustrating and writing Las Xylarias del Bosque Nublado de Ecuador, which will hopefully involve a Dec-Jan trip next year, to include a bunch of time in the Herbario and the field. The plan is Kickstarter funding, so I’ll keep y’all posted there.
new species list :)
with respect to site access, as I’m still traveling, so please forgive the lapses in contributions to the conversation.
Roo, the photo is Daniel Winkler’s. I know nothing of it’s larger resolutions nor its fungal focus. It surprises me to hear you say this took you by surprise. I can remember a real juicy debate that raged over what we eventually discovered to be a Podosordaria (with the help of Felipe San Martin, who described it), which was as yellow as the day is long. Not Xylaria sensu stricto, but Xylariaceae, and stipitate at that. I think there might be one or two yellow/-ish Xylariaceae on MycoKey Ecuador too, but they’ve had trouble keeping their image archive hosted for years now. I’ll give you that it’s a rare color, but not rare enough for Master Vandegrift to be so new to!
Remind me to bump our own yellow Xylaria to the top of the darkroom queue and I’ll post it first thing when I get back. Who knows, by then I could have another couple from Argentina.
As for uniting under the banner of Neotropical fungi, I have been either actively attempting to enlist others in my south of the border fungus jaunts or requesting a station aboard others’ expeditions, on and off, for the past seven years, this:
being the latest example. The next time I can reasonably expect to travel this big again is Florianopolis 2016 (http://almic.org/...), at which point there will surely be another Bolivia component planned, one with the same open-arms terms of participation.
Especially the lack of training in basic natural history given the estimates of how few species in the Kingdom Fungi have actually been described. Great idea about creating an MO observation to accompany your sequence deposit.
…of MO creating a spot for sequences. Might even encourage academic use. Even just a good relational link between GeneBank (which doesn’t allow for good updating) and here (which does) would be grand — I’ve been thinking a lot about how to handle my next batch of sequences for upload to GeneBank, which is required for publication, and I think I’m going to create a MO observation for each one, and add the MO ID to the metadata with the sequence — that way when someone else looks up the sequence, they can come here and find photos and the current taxonomic determination.
I had a really great talk with Dr. George Carroll about this the other day, and the myopia of the NSF and other funding organizations regarding training in basic natural history and the like. Right now, if you need a Xylariaceae identified you send it to Jack Rogers or Yu-Ming Ju, but who will you send it to when they’re gone? Jack was funded to train Yu-Ming ~30 years ago, but Yu-Ming hasn’t been funded to train a replacement. When you need a drosophilid fly identified, you send it to Dr. David Grimaldi at the AMNH, but he’s not been funded to train a replacement — we are loosing our “alpha” taxonomists, and not training new ones… this is probably the saddest thing in modern science happening right now. Well, I guess other than of climate change and mass extinction — but does that really count as “in science”?
I think a tool such as MO could become a repository of molecular information from those willing to participate. It would not be hard to simply add a link to either a Genbank entry or even just the raw sequence (ITS or any others that are phylogenetically informative). However, I don’t know of many “academic” mycologists that use MO, at least not from my circles. Also, geo-referencing of material in sequence databases needs to be vastly improved. Finally, curation, curation, curation…but training in classical mycology is hard to come by these days. I feel like its a DIY field when all the “mycologists” are retired or dead.
This is a huge and little-discussed issue in the professional circles who actually use genetic databases for ID work. I can’t believe how slow and myopic Genbank is with regard to photos, locations, and vouchers infrastructure.
One of the biggest issues with bringing the morphological and molecular data together is the lack of a good centralized evolving database for sequences. A couple of years ago I did a little bit of paired sequence and reference pulling, and discovered that within the Xylariaceae, something like a quarter of the sequences come with no means of verification (the citations provided don’t provide enough detail to determine how the ID was made, etc.), and that at least another quarter had taxonomic attributions that had undergone revision since the sequence was first published, or were based on an out-dated taxonomy to begin with. So, for example, if you go to GeneBank and pull sequences for X. venosula, what you actually get are sequences for X. apiculata, mistakenly identified as X. venosula, and sequences labeled X. venosula based on similarity to the EXISTING sequences with that label. What we need is an integrated herbarium/sequence curation system, so that sequences associated vouchered specimens get tagged with updated taxonomy when new determinations are made for the specimen.
GeneBank has recently added a “vouchered” option, but there’s still no good way to update or to curate, or for users to point out sequences in need of curation. The new UNITE “species hypotheses” system has the potential to be a great leap forward, but the quality of the system will only be as good as the quality of the data input and the curators for each group. But that system will always only be for ITS — it’s not a broader solution.
The advent of sequencing is changing things — we need re-collections of rare taxa so that we can extract DNA and incorporate sequence data into our taxonomic models. Did you know that fully a third of Rosellinia are known from single collections? And most of those are collections greater than 50 years old! And this at a time when natural history sorts of funding are at an all time low in the USA, because they don’t represent “transformative research”.
It seems there are many of us working in the Neotropics but we need to aggregate morphological and molecular data.
Oh, yes. I really wish that you and Danny can do further research! Would be awesome to know more! Neotropical fungi are still underexplored.
And: I agree, the observation posted by Danny and my observation from Cristalino seem to be both in the X. comosa group.
I remember that one! I have seen yellow in the immature stages of the Xylaria comosa group, though that is a particular striking example. Actually, the photo Danny posted with the sterile apex and the longer black stipe might be more in line with the idea of comosa group. I think the one here and the one that Josh found are definitely not part of that complex, and at least Josh’s seems to stay yellow all the way through maturity.
One of these days I need to find some funding to travel across Latin America doing nothing but rooting through herbaria. I feel like that’d be really interesting, and you’d probably find things like this, collected 70 years ago, and labeled “Clavariaceae sensu lato”.
Same shade. Not sure if I took photos or collected it.
Lovely photo, as always. Were you in lowland forest for this one, Danny? It’s crazy to have never even heard of a bright yellow Xylaria until the other day, and now there’s three independent sightings.
I’ve forwarded Josh’s photos, which show very nice perithecial material with enough detail to see the ostioles clearly, to Dr. Yu-Ming Ju. If anyone has the knowledge to say “ah, I know that one!” it’s him.
Is there I higher-res version of that photo somewhere? I feel like I can almost see the ostioles in the one on the left, and I’d like to compare to Josh’s. Also, the sterile and very not-yellow apex present in your photo is really interesting.
you’d have to ask Daniel Winkler, but his trips are decidedly non-scientific, so there are surely no notes or additional shots for scale. that said, I would ballpark the size at around what you’ve described, maybe a bit bigger.
I’m currently in Santa Cruz in the eastern edge of the country, flying to Asuncion, Paraguay in 3 days, then bussing to Misiones, Argentina to co-teach a course. Wrapping up a mycoblitz which began around new year’s, which took us all over the country.
Danny, how tall are these? The yellow Xylaria in Ecuador ranged between 1.5cm to 4cm in height. Also I did not observe any that branched in my collection. Cool stuff. Where in Bolivia?
I trust this color. here it is again:
i found something similar just this past month in Bolivia.
Do you think this is some sort of Hyomyces? There does seem to some white mycelial patches on both Atildes photos and mine.
You think it’s an artifact, Danny?
Boy have I got a surprise for you :)
You caught the other observation of the exact same stromata, from five weeks before? They seem to have that flat top then, as well.
I’m in new territory with these — I’ve never seen one species of Xylaria so intensely yellow, let alone two. My thought was that your photo looked more fully developed, and this one looks conidial, but it’s really anyone’s guess.
So I do have specimen of the yellow Xylaria but have not looked at it yet under the scope. Currently in the process of DNA extractions and sequencing. But will post photos once they are available. They do seem different though. The one I have seems to have a distinct erumpent perithecia locations whereas this specimen seems very smooth. I only found one this in one location. Also, is this specimen missing the top of the fruit body or is it naturally flat?
Just the long persistence in that climate helps confirm Xylariaceae. No chance of a collection of this one, is there?
they seem to be the same fungi. The dates are OK though: january 5 and february 11.
They do appear to be the same fruitbodies.
That’s not just the same species, that’s the SAME EXACT FUNGUS. Look at the whole in the rotting wood, above the fungus, with the moss growing above it. And these were taken 5 weeks apart?
Huh! Wild! I’d missed that one when it got posted. Curious.
seems to be the same species.
Huh. Interesting… I’ve never seen anything like that before.
Created: 2015-02-12 13:41:00 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2015-02-24 18:06:35 PST (-0800)
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