EARTHDANCE: Living Systems in Evolution by Elisabet Sahtouris

RandyFulle randyfulle at
Mon Apr 6 22:21:11 EST 1998

To the Group,

Daniel had some good points. My omissions were by design. Here is my post to
Daniel through the e-mail.

Subj:	Re: EARTHDANCE: Living Systems in Evolution by Elisabet Sahtouris
Date:	04/06/98
To:	dwheeler at


You are guite correct in your assertions. At the time of the research the
common practice was to name all Armillaria's causing pathogenic symptoms A.
mellea. or, as some would argue Armillariella mellea. After DNA comparisons,
done after the research, it was established that the real ID was Armillaria
ostoyae and that the non-pathogenic (there was no indication of symbiotic
relationship with D. Fir) was a varietal of A. mellea. According to Randy
Molina of OSU the A. mellea had no mycorrhizal associations were present. After
numerous cross pairings in petri dishes, more than 10,000 pairings it was
concluded that two genotypes of Armillaria sp. were present. The largest of
which encompassed over 1500 hectares.

I did not want to get into a taxanomic discussion at that point with the group
on the necessary changes from A. mellea (a well established nomenclature in
most minds) to A. ostoyae. The exercise was about past experiences. Had the
discussion continued alone more technical lines I may have been obliged to
clarify the taxonomic etiology of the genus Armillaria and the associated
necrotrophic genotypes of the genus. Your observations as to the saprophytic
nature of the Armillaria's on hardwoods has been a point of discussion for many
years among forest pathologists. Until the recent DNA studies it was not
possible to decern the nature of the differences between the saprophytic
hardwood genotypes and the sometimes pathogenic genotypes found in the Western
conifer forests. The DNA studies has shed much light on the phylogenic
differences between the genotypes and most are now classified as distinct
species. This is if you subscribe to the 'splitter' school of taxonomy and you
are not a 'lumper'. :) The common thinking today about the genus is that there
are nine distinct species. All, but two, of the NABS (North American Biological
Species), NABS IX, and NABS X can be equated with a counterpart in Europe. Much
study remains undone in this area.

I have seen your posts on mycorrhizal associations. I have had occassion to
work in the PNW nurseries when Randy Molina and his group were first getting
started. They have done some very exciting research, both basic and applied. 

Thanks for the note.


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