Observation 353240: Athelia salicum Pers.

Collector’s_Name: Alden C. Dirks, Lara A. Kappler
Collection_Number(s): BHI-F0645
Substrate: on decorticated log
Macroscopic_Features: Resupinate, thin, pellicular crust with a somewhat merulioid hymenium when fresh, smooth when dry, whitish with yellowish blotches.
Microscopic_Features: Subicular hyphae Encrusted with short needle- or rod-like crystals or blocky crystals, somewhat thicker-walled and slightly wider than subhymenial hyphae, width (3.5) 3.9-4.9 (5.2) µm [n = 10 subicular hyphae measured]
Subhymenial hyphae Thin-walled, sometimes encrusted but mostly not, width (3.5) 3.6-4.3 (4.6) µm [n = 10 subhymenial hyphae measured]
Basidia Clavate, length (12.2) 13.3-17.2 (17.3) x width (4.3) 4.6-5.6 (6.0) µm, Q (3.2) 3.5-4.7 (5.2), sterigmata length (3.2) 3.5-4.7 (5.2) µm [n = 10 basidia]
Basidiospores Ellipsoid to cylindrical, inamyloid, frequently agglutinated in groups of 2 or 4, length (4.9) 5.4-6.2 (6.6) x width (2.6) 3.0-3.8 (4.2) µm, Q (1.2) 1.4-1.8 (2.1) [n = 30 basidiospores]
Cystidia Unsure if cystidia are present, some structures look like leptocystidia

Species Lists


Example of thin needle-like encrustations of the subicular hyphae
Example of blocky encrustations of the subicular hyphae
Spores were frequently glued together
Subhymenial hyphae
Candelabra arrangement of terminal cells
Potential evidence of leptocystidia
Potential evidence of leptocystidia
Potential evidence of leptocystidia
Potential evidence of leptocystidia
Four-sterigmate basidia
Potential evidence of leptocystidia
Potential evidence of leptocystidia
Clamp connections were occasionally present in the subicular hyphae
Clamp connections were occasionally present in the subicular hyphae
Potential evidence for leptocystidia

Proposed Names

61% (2)
Recognized by sight
-77% (2)
Used references: BLAST results
85% (1)
Recognized by sight

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Django Grootmyers (Heelsplitter)
2019-01-07 21:12:45 PST (-0800)

I just checked and it looked like it didn’t go through. My email is dgrootmyers@gmail.com if you wanna send it there

By: Alden Dirks (aldendirks)
2019-01-07 17:26:27 PST (-0800)

I sent you an email through Mushroom Observer. Please let me know if you didn’t receive it.

Seems like it could be an unnamed Athelia then
By: Django Grootmyers (Heelsplitter)
2018-12-29 15:43:41 PST (-0800)

Would this be something you would be able to culture? The lab I’m working in is involved in a project focused on Athelia species with Fibularrhizoctonia anamorphs.

One last thing to note,
By: Alden Dirks (aldendirks)
2018-12-29 15:34:52 PST (-0800)

this specimen had a merulioid hymenium. That is a distinct trait that has only been reported for Athelia neuhoffii, but that species has subglobose and larger spores, as well as clamps at all septa, which do not correspond to this specimen.

If you BLAST again,
By: Alden Dirks (aldendirks)
2018-12-29 15:27:53 PST (-0800)

you will see that it is a perfect match with many unidentified Fibularhizoctonia cultures. Lower down you will see that it is a good match to some Athelia vouchers. However, either 1) those specimens are misidentified or 2) species delimitations for Athelia are all wrong. There haven’t been any molecular phylogenetic studies done on the group to my knowledge so the second is very possible. BLAST matches this specimen with others identified as Athelia bombacina, A. epiphylla, and A. neuhoffii with greater than 97% similarity. The morphology of this is not anywhere similar to those specimens (taking into account the features that have been deemed important for Athelia taxonomy, namely spore size, presence of encrustations and cystidia, and presence of cystidia, among a few others). It is most similar to A. salicum, A. cystidiolophora, and A. decipiens. It is markedly different even from those species, especially so if the pictures do indicate the presence cystidia. I’m not sure if those would be considered leptocystidia or hyphidia of some sort, but that is an important feature.

That was my bad…
By: Alden Dirks (aldendirks)
2018-12-29 15:21:42 PST (-0800)

I put the wrong GenBank accession, which did correspond to Galzinia incrustans. Thanks for catching that!

This looks more like an Athelia to me
By: Django Grootmyers (Heelsplitter)
2018-12-29 15:13:10 PST (-0800)

…but the BLAST results show this to be something like Galzinia incrustans despite being simple-septate, not having allantoid spores and having clavate basidia. Could be a current Athelia species that belongs elsewhere. I know of at least a couple that need to be given new combinations in the Amylocorticiales and the Agaricales.