Spores - THE definative taxonomic feature??

Richard Winder rwinder at PFC.Forestry.CA
Wed Feb 21 22:47:32 EST 1996

In article <4gfc4d$7c at lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk>, rnw1001 at cus.cam.ac.uk 
(R.N. Weinstein) writes:
>What do you all think?:
>Is there a consensus that spore SIZE, within a range, and spore SHAPE is 
>enough to be the last word in species identification?  This seems to be the 
>current state of affairs in fungal taxonomy.  Is this system a relic, or 
>is it perhaps just a matter of it being the best system around by default?

In some fungi, spore size can depend on culture conditions.  Not a useful 
trait when you are trying to make a species determination...

I've isolated an arctic Colletotrichum that has conidium and appressorium
morphology/size the same as C. falcatum (per Sutton's Coelomycetes book), 
but this fungus does not grow at equatorial temperatures, grows nicely at 
0 C, and infects Canada reedgrass, not sugarcane.  A check through the 
literature revealed that such a Colletotrichum had been reported long ago 
under the name Vermicularia affinis var. calamagrostidis, isolated from 
a related boreal grass.  A check w/ the type specimen verified the 
close resemblance.  So... you may want to check to see what's already
been reported.  -RSW

  RICHARD WINDER                    Title: Research Scientist
  Canadian Forest Service           Phone: (604) 363-0773
  Victoria, B.C.                    Internet: RWINDER at A1.PFC.Forestry.CA

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