Public Description of Phleogena faginea (Fr.) Link

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Name: Phleogena faginea (Fr.) Link
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 Draft For 2008/2009 Eol University Species Pages Initiative By Jordan Zachritz (Private)

Description status: Unreviewed
 (Latest review: 2009-02-04 00:10:08 EST (-0500) by nathan)

Taxonomic Classification:

Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Urediniomycetes
Order: Atractiellales
Family: Phleogenaceae

General Description:

This fungus is within the rust clade of the Basidiomycota. The mature basidiocarps may range from grey to brown and range in size from 0.45 to a few centimeters tall. Spores are 4 to 7 micrometers in diameter, spherical and orange in color. They are borne on basidia resembling those of the metabasidia other fungi in the rust clade. P. faginea is a saprobe on many species of tree4, though it was originally described on the bark of living beech trees(Fagus spp.)4.
See Observation 14883

Diagnostic Description:

One diagnostic feature is a distinct smell of curry powder coming from the basidiocarp5. Hyphae are 3µm in diameter, are sparsely septate with medallion clamp connections , and have curled branches4. Its basidia are transversely septate , producing a spore from each cell very similar to the metabasidia of rust fungi4. The basidiospores are globose or subglobose, ranging from 4 to 7µm in diameter4.


Phleogena faginea has been observed with increasing frequency across Poland6, the Netherlands7, and West Germany8. It is known to occur in Austria, Germany, Denmark, Slovenia, Norway, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand and Canada3. It is common in Northeastern North America1, hence the collection at Cranberry Lake Biological station.


It was originally described on the bark of a beech tree(Fagus spp.)4, which it was named after. It is a saprobe, potentially a weak parasite1, of trees and its host range is expanding is some cases6. Some other genera in its host range include Ilex, Acer, Juglans, Betula, Fraxinus, Platanus, Pyrus, Malus, Prunus, and Tilia, spanning at least 11 plant families4.

Look Alikes:

Synonyms include: Ecchyna petersii, Ecchyna faginea, Pilacre faginea, Botryochaete faginea, Pilacre petersii (Berk. & M.A. Curtis in Berkeley & Broome. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 3:362 (1859))2, Onygena faginea (Fr. Syst. Mycol., 3:209 (1832))2, Aecidium petersii

Pilacre (synonym with Roesleria), a discomycetous genus, has been misapplied to an Phleogena faginea2 according to Donk (1966). Its apothecia have a similar appearance to the basidiocarps of P. faginea. Its lack of asci and basidia can be used to distinguish it from ascomycetous fungi in general.


Many Phleogena faginea ribosomal RNA genes are partially sequenced1 and used in phylogenetic studies:
P. faginea’s 5S rRNA (M35574) has been used to establish the systematic position of Septobasidium, Graphiola and other basidiomycetes.
Both 18S (DQ831022) and 25S (DQ831021) rRNA were used in resolving the phylogenetic position of the Wallemiomycetes: an enigmatic major lineage of Basidiomycota.
A small subunit rRNA was used to establish the relationship of two new pycnidial members of the Atractiellales: Basidiopycnis hyalina and Proceropycnis pinicola (DQ198798) and to establish the phylogenetic implications of mitosis in the yeast phase of the basidiomycetes Bensingtonia yuccicola and Stilbum vulgare (AY373392).
A large subunit rRNA was used to look at the the phylogeny of Urediniomycetes (AY512869) as a group.


Phleo: (G) a marsh reed; gena: (L) the cheek, chin, (G) birth, descent
fagi: (G) beech tree; nea: (G) new
Borror, D.J. 1971. Dictionary of word roots and combining forms. Compiled from the Greek, Latin, and other languages, with special reference to biological terms and scientific names. Palo Alto, California.

More detailed taxonomy:
Atractiellomycetes1, Phragmobasidiomycetes2, Urediniomycetes3

1 National Center for Biotechnology Information

2 Orchard, A.E., T.W. May, and T. Young. 2003. Fungi of Australia. CSIRO Australian Biological Resources Study: Cambarra, Australia. p. 28.

3 Species: Phleogena faginea (Fr.) Link 1833. Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

4 Phleogena faginea (Fr.) Link, 1833 (Fenugreek Stalkball). BioImages: The Virtual Field-Guide (UK).

5 Bessette, A.E., A.R. Bessette, and D.W. Fischer. 1997. Mushrooms of Northeast North America. Syracuse University Press: Syracuse, NY.

6 Wojewoda, W., Z. Heinrich, and H. Komorowska. 1999. New localities and new host for Phleogena faginea (Fungi, Atractiellales) in Poland. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica Series Polonica, 6: p. 199-202.

7 Veerkamp, M.T. 2007. Phleogena faginea is sweeping through the netherlands. Coolia, 50: p. 91-93.

8 Bregazzi, R. 1980. Phleogena faginea distribution in West Germany. Zeitschrift fuer Mykologie, 46: p. 5-10.

Description author: Jordan Zachritz (Request Authorship Credit)
Description editor: Nathan Wilson

Created: 2008-11-12 14:47:59 EST (-0500) by Jordan Zachritz (DrMcTreemie1)
Last modified: 2009-02-04 00:10:08 EST (-0500) by Nathan Wilson (nathan)
Viewed: 455 times, last viewed: 2018-12-15 01:25:45 EST (-0500)