Published abstracts-IMACA-GOA-Nkamat-Abstract-2

gmk6 at gmk6 at
Sun Jan 25 14:24:59 EST 1998

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hello, this follows the previous message and an abstract on termitomyces
Comments are most welcome.

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             Some characteristics of the Termitomyces holomorph

                               Nandkumar Kamat

         Department of Botany, Goa University, Taleigao-Goa, India


This paper discusses some interesting ecological, morphological, cultural
and developmental characteristics of the Termitomyces holomorph . The most
dominant palaeotropical genus of the termitophilic agaricales Termitomyces
Heim cultivated by fungus -growing termites shows two distinct life-forms.
There seeems to be an intricate, close and complex relationship between the
Termitomyces anamorph and the teleomorph which ensures the timed dispersal
of mycelogenic propagules, the survival of the termite-dependent mycobiont
and continuity of the eons-old entomo-mycomutualistic relationship. The
termite mycobiont anamorph appears to be the dark-adpated, subterranean/
hypogeal sporodochial stage which produces characteristic fragile
spherocysts and mitospores. The teleomorph is the light-dependent epigeal
basidiospore producing fruitbody stage. The transition of sporodochial
anamorph to the Termitomyces fruitbody involves an intermediate stage of
mycelial differentiation under a complex set of genetic and environmental
cues. Such a transition has not been achieved under controlled conditions.
Two pathways mediated by termite agency for linking the teleomorph to
anamorph are postulated and discussed. Using simple fungal media and healthy
tissue from the teleomorph it is relatively easier to obtain either
sporodochial anamorphic cultures with farinaceous/cerebroid textures or
purely vegetatative non-differentiating cultures. The pure cultures obtained
>From natural sporodochia , are morphologically homologus to the natural
sporodochia but do not produce vigorous, non differentiating vegetative
mycelial growth. Whereas staling or nutritionally stressed mycelial cultures
obtained from teleomorphic fruitbody tissues are found to produce anamorphic
propagules. A combination of genetic, ecological, environmental and
nutritional factors may regulate the survival of Termitomyces holomorph.
Elucidation of these factors, their mutual interdependence/interactions will
disclose the nature of controlling switches which make the transition from
anamorph to teleomorph possible. A proper understanding of the Termitomyces
holomorph will fructify attempts to cultivate this important and dominant
tropical species.


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