Sarah's focal taxon

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Cup Fungi

The Fungi Kingdom is perhaps the least understood taxa; thus, there is so much to be explored and discovered. The Ascomycetes is a division within the kingdom that has great diversity yet, a key feature of Ascomycetes is that they store their spores in a balloon-like container and release their spores up (Anne Pringle 2010). One of the more interesting subsets of Ascomycetes is that of the Cup Fungi because despite its name, the fungi exhibit various shapes and forms other than a cup. Identifying cup fungi is difficult without the use of DNA analysis as the morphologies can be used across differing divisions; however, for the purpose of this project, cup fungi was defined as a fungi with a fruiting body whose shape was cup-like or a derivative of a cup shape and seemed to release spores upwardly. With the help of Anne Pringle and Lauren Ruane, cup fungi I wasn't able to recognize were morphotyped and included in this collection.


Cup Shaped Cups

Most easily identifiable of the cup fungi.

Morphotype 3 (Indiv98)

Location:

  • Lambir Hills NP HQ, Canteen.

Date: 12 June 2010

Description: This morphotype appeared after a heavy rain fall on the dead wood that framed the canteen at Lambir Hills HQ. Has a jelly-like appearance but feels slightly rubbery. It is multi-bodied.

Morphotype 12 (Indiv117)

Location:

  • Maliau Basin, on a Leaf in a tree by the main path to trail.

Date: 28 June 2010

Description: Found in a lichen specimen in a leaf; the lichen had fruiting bodies that were cup shaped that allowed the determination that the symbiont fungi is an ascomycetes and most likely a cup fungi. The lichen and fruiting bodies were could only be seen through a microscope.

Morphotype 4 (Indiv100)

Location:

  • Pulau Gaya, Padang Point, trail leading across the island.

Date: 18 June 2010

Description: Although the picture quality is not its best, notice the split edges that encircles the cup of the fungi.The split may be a more a function of age rather than morphological characteristic thus it was postulated that this fungi, in earlier stages, forms a cup which degrades as the fungi ages.

Morphotype 2 (Indiv97)

Location:

  • Lambir Hills NP HQ, trail to Latak Waterfall.

Date: 08 June 2010

Description: The highly striated coloration is unique to this morphotype.

Morphotype 11 (Indiv115)

Location:

  • Maliau Basin, main trail.

Date: 30 June 2010

Description: The inside of the cup is a brilliant salmon color but the stem of the fungi is white; this dual coloration is another key character of this fungi.


Saucer Shaped Cups

This is differentiated from cup shapes by the very flat shape of the cup with slight upturn along the edge.

Morphotype 10 (Indiv112)

Location:

  • Maliau Basin, main trail.

Date: 28 June 2010

Description: Found by Anne Pringle on the Forest floor along the main trail. The color of the cup used to be red and the stem white but when placed in alcohol, the colors were bleached.

Morphotype 8 (Indiv105)

Location:

  • Pulau Gaya, Padang Point, mountain trail.

Date: 18 June 2010

Description: This morphotype was found in a fast moving stream and seemed to not be attached to any substrate other than the clay soil of the stream bed.

Morphotype 5 (Indiv101)

Location:

  • Pulau Gaya, Padang Point, mountain trail.

Date: 18 June 2010

Description: The bright yellow color of the morphotype was similar to the other morphotypes in that area, however, the gray patch and the smooth edge was unique to this morphotype.

Morphotype 6 (Indiv102)

Location:

  • Pulau Gaya, Padang Point, mountain trail.

Date: 18 June 2010

Description: This morphotype has bright yellow coloration and a jagged edged, which may or may not be a function of age.

Morphotype 7 (Indiv103)

Location:

  • Pulau Gaya, Padang Point, mountain trail.

Date: 18 June 2010

Description: The split edge of the cup is very pronounced makes the cup look like a flower.

Tube Shaped Cups

The following group is differentiated from the cup fungi in that the cup forms a cylindrical shape.

Morphotype 1 (Indiv95)

Location:

  • Lambir Hills NP, trail to Latak Waterfall.

Date: 08 June 2010

Description: Found on rotting wood, the cup of the fungi is angled down.

Morphotype 9 (Indiv107)

Location:

  • Pulau Gaya, Padang Point, mountain trail.

Date: 28 June 2010

Description: This morphotype was found by Anne Pringle. The fungi is multi-bodied although the fruiting body is more widely spaced.


Capsule Shaped Cups

One ginger was tentatively identified in the Plagiostachys genus.

Morphotype 14 (Indiv121)

Location:

  • Maliau Basin, main trail.

Date: 28 June 2010

Description: Found on the forest floor by Anne Pringle. Despite the fact that this morphotype seems to lack ejection point for spores, these fungi do shoot their spores upward,thus they are Cup fungi.

Morphotype 13 (Indiv119)

Location:

  • Maliau Basin, main trail.

Date: 28 June 2010

Description: This morphotype was found by Anne Pringle. The fungi is multi-bodied although it is unique in that the fruiting bodies seem to be connected at their cups..


Data

The program Mesquite used key characters of the morphotypes in order to analyze the taxonomic relationship between the morphotypes.

The resulting tree was drawn using the program PHYLIP. 

Discussion

The out group for the taxonomy is Morphotype 3 because despite the similarity in physical characteristics with the rest of the cup fungi, it is a Jelly fungi. The jelly-like flesh and the bunched nature of the fungi matched the description Jelly fungi, a Basidiomycetes, thus Morphotype 3 should be the most genetically different from the other morphotypes. However, since this is a physical, phenotypic taxonomy, the drawn tree does not represent this genetic difference, hence distinct characteristics, such as cup shaped is scattered across the tree. However, there appears to be a measure of agreement in characteristics, even in cup shape, as each cup shape tends to be more clustered than scattered. One characteristic, whether of not the fungi is 'lichenized' (meaning it was found in a lichen) was really specific as only one morphotype had this characteristic, but it was necessary to resolve morphotypes and shows that even seemingly superfluous characters is necessary in resolving a tree. Overall, the tree revealed that Morphotype 2 and Morphotype 11 to be the most similar, of which I have reservations because the striations of Morphotype 2 seems to be a Bracket fungi characteristic and I am apt to believe that Morphotype 2 is within the Bracket fungi. Nevertheless, this tree is limited in that DNA analysis wasn't used to verify relationships, which indicates that the future, and even the present,of phylogeny is in DNA analysis and work.

References

Pringle, Anne. pers. comm. 28 June 2010.

The Larger Fungi of Borneo.

Individual Determined by Date Taxon Genus Species Morphotype
Indiv100 C Morphotype 4
Indiv100 Cup Fungi 8 July 2010 Morphotype 4
Indiv100 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi
Indiv101 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 5
Indiv102 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 6
Indiv103 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 7
Indiv105 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 8
Indiv107 Anne Pringle 28 June 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 9
Indiv112 Anne Pringle 27 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 10
Indiv115 Lauren Ruane 28 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 11
Indiv117 Anne Pringle 28 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 12
Indiv119 Anne Pringle 28 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 13
Indiv121 Anne Pringle 28 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 14
Indiv95 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 1
Indiv97 Sarah 8 July 2010 Morphotype 2
Indiv98 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 3
my data matrix
Individual Determined by Date Taxon Genus Species Morphotype
Indiv100 C Morphotype 4
Indiv100 Cup Fungi 8 July 2010 Morphotype 4
Indiv100 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi
Indiv101 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 5
Indiv102 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 6
Indiv103 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 7
Indiv105 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 8
Indiv107 Anne Pringle 28 June 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 9
Indiv112 Anne Pringle 27 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 10
Indiv115 Lauren Ruane 28 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 11
Indiv117 Anne Pringle 28 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 12
Indiv119 Anne Pringle 28 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 13
Indiv121 Anne Pringle 28 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 14
Indiv95 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 1
Indiv97 Sarah 8 July 2010 Morphotype 2
Indiv98 Sarah 8 July 2010 Cup Fungi Morphotype 3
my data matrix