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The biology of Tremella bambusina Sacc. Brough, Sherman Gordon

Abstract

This study was carried out on the Heterobasidiomycete Tremella bambusina Sacc . , a tuberculate jelly-fungus growing from perithecia of species of the pyrenomycete genera Valsa and Diaporthe. Single spore isolates of basidiocarps from a range of hosts were crossed and the compatibility system was found to be of a modified tetrapolar type. Two "A" alleles needed for initiation of conjugation tubes and 13 factors of the "B" locus determining dikaryotization, were identified from isolates of seven basidiocarps. Culture studies were carried out on the haploid yeastlike phase in liquid media and growth was measured by optical density. Rapid growth was obtained in chemically defined media when glucose, sucrose or maltose were used as carbon sources, where ammonium compounds were used as nitrogen sources, and where the vitamin thiamine was added to the synthetic medium. Good growth occurred at pH levels from 4.0 to 7.0 with optimum growth near pH 7.0. Most rapid growth took place at temperatures between 15° and 20° C. At higher temperatures (room temperature) rapid growth occurred when calcium compounds were added. Sodium acetate as a carbon source and the nitrate ion as a nitrogen source did not provide for good growth. Conjugation hormones were measured to be effective over a lateral range of 20 mm. in agar medium. These hormones behaved similarly to those of species of Tremella investigated by other workers, except that no tube initiation could be established after the hormone was autoclaved. In liquid media, relatively few conjugation tubes occurred and conjugation could not be obtained. Initiation and formation of conjugation tubes as well as growth of the dikaryotic phase was inhibited by diffusible substances produced by the haploid phase. Conjugation tubes, of compatible types, growing on agar medium, were tropic to each other within a 10µ. range. Observations on conjugation and subsequent dikaryotic growth were recorded. Clamps with haustoria as well as simple clamps were common at specific stages in development. Exposed mycelium on a variety of media, developed into basidiocarps within 10 days. No reaction with Valsa was observed in culture. Culture conditions affect the texture, structure and size of the basidiocarps, the hymenial surface, and basidial production. The life cycle was completed in culture, but basidiospore production was erratic. Conditions affecting basidiospore germination by budding, by repetition on the hymenial surfaces, and tube formation In the presence of conjugation hormones, were examined.

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