Category Archives: Volume 58(2) 2020

A new epiphytic species, Symphytocarpus macrosporus (Myxomycetes) from Western Siberia, Russia

Authors: Vlasenko, Anastasia & Filippova, Nina & Vlasenko, Vyacheslav
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 393-400.
Full text: PDF
Key words: molecular data, morphology, myxomycetes, new records, SEM, SSU rDNA gene sequences, Stemonitidales, taxonomy

Abstract: A new species Symphytocarpus macrosporus is described based on collections made in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area – Yugra, Russia. Thirty- two specimens of the new species were isolated from moist chambers with Picea obovata and Abies siberica bark. The new species is characterized by the presence of pseudoaethalia, without cortex, with peridium remaining as fragments. This new species clearly differs from previously described species of the genus by both morphological and molecular characters. It has large spores, (14)15–17(18) μm diam. with irregular ornamentation of large warts. Such a spore size seems to be the largest for the genus. The holotype specimen of Symphytocarpus macrosporus is stored in the M.G. Popov Herbarium (NSK), Novosibirsk, Russia. It is the first new species described within the genus Symphytocarpus since 1984.

Quick n’ Cheap – a simplified workflow to barcode plasmodial slime molds (Myxomycetes)

Authors: Schnittler, Martin & Dagamac, Nikki H.A. & Leontyev, Dmitry & Shchepin, Oleg & Novozhilov, Yuri K. & Klahr, Anja
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 385-392.
Full text: PDF
Key words: DNA barcoding, DNA extraction, elongation factor 1 alpha, direct PCR, spore collection, small ribosomal subunit, spore

Abstract: We present a workflow for efficient barcoding of myxomycete fructifications, which (i) requires less than 1000 spores, (ii) allows to collect spores with only a needle, (iii) works without any commercial kits, and (iv) is optimized for the use of 96-well PCR plates throughout the process. Specimens of 291 dark-spored nivicolous myxomycetes and 121 bright-spored members of the Trichiaceae were sequenced for the barcode marker 18S rDNA (SSU) with a low rate of failure and no detectable cross-contamination. Crude DNA extracts can be stored for further analyses: the elongation factor 1 alpha gene (EF1A), a single-copy marker, was successfully amplified after four weeks of storage.As such our procedure will allow a time- and cost-efficient barcoding of large series of specimens.

Supplementary material

Supplement 1: Collecting procedure for spores
(Video at

Supplement 2: Documentation of preparation
steps, necessary equipment and time for
barcoding a 96 well plate of myxomycetes

(Microsoft Excel).

Supplement 3A–C: List of specimens
sequenced and BLAST statistics

(Microsoft Excel).

First reports of fimicolous myxomycetes (Protozoa: Amoebozoa) from Brazilian Cerrado and Pantanal biomes

Authors: Calaça, Francisco J. Simões & Araújo, Jéssica C. & Tereza, Vanessa B. & Moreira, Izabel C. & Xavier-Santos, Solange
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 374-384.
Full text: PDF
Key words: dung-inhabiting microorganisms, myxogastrids, new records, slime-molds

Abstract: Fimicolous organisms are those that can grow on dung. These substrates offer conditions that favour colonization by microorganisms, such as high nutrient and moisture content and an alkaline-neutral pH that is especially advantageous in arid/desertic regions. There are about 250 species of myxomycetes known from Brazil, which are distributed in all geographic regions and biomes, obtained mainly from plant-derived substrates. However, there are some reports of fimicolous myxomycetes in Brazil. In this study, we expand this knowledge with new records of fimicolous myxomycetes in multiple Brazilian biomes. Between 2017 and 2018, horse and cattle dung samples were collected in municipal areas in the State of Goiás (Cerrado biome): Pirenópolis, Goiás, and Porangatu; and the State of Mato Grosso (Pantanal biome): Poconé. Samples were incubated in moist chambers and monitored for four months. Myxomycetous fructifications were observed, photographed under stereo and light microscopes, and morphologically identified. Vouchers were deposited at the HUEG Herbarium. A total of five species of myxomycetes were recorded: Arcyria cinerea and Physarum viride (Pirenópolis), P. cinereum (Goiás City), P. melleum (Porangatu), and Perichaena corticalis (Poconé). They represent the first records of fimicolous myxomycetes from the Brazilian Cerrado and Pantanal biomes. Additionally, P. melleum was reported as fimicolous for the first time in Brazil and the second time in the world; P. corticalis was reported for the first time in midwest region as well as for the first time as fimicolous in Brazil; and P. viride was reported for the first time as fimicolous in the world.

Myxomycetes of Russia: a history of research and a checklist of species

Authors: Bortnikov, F. M. & Matveev, A. V. & Gmoshinskiy, V. I. & Novozhilov, Yu. K. & Zemlyanskaya, I. V. & Vlasenko, A. V. & Schnittler. M. & Shchepin. O. N. & Fedorova , N. A.
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 316-373.
Full text: PDF
Key words: Amoebozoa, bibliography, biodiversity, database, geographical distribution, literature review, Palearctic, slime molds

Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the history and the level of research on biodiversity of myxomycetes in Russia. The first doubtless mention of myxomycetes in Russia dates back to the 18th century. Since then, numerous studies on myxomycete diversity in different regions of Russia have been published. Yu.K. Novozhilov summarized all accumulated data by publishing a list of 304 species in 2005. However, new data on species diversity, biogeography, and ecology of myxomycetes have been published in recent years. Recent research aims to fill this gap. This paper includes 321 sources, including studies published after 2005 and several works absent in previous reports. A full list of 455 myxomycete species found in Russia includes references to all literature sources. The analyzed database consists of more than 14 600 records in the “publication-region-species” format. Additionally, our research includes a detailed historical overview of the myxomycete studies in Russia. We hope that our information system, also available online at, will create a solid foundation for future studies of myxomycete biodiversity in Russia, particularly in the understudied regions.

Myxomycetes of boreal forests of the Laplandskiy State Nature Biosphere Reserve (Kola Peninsula, Russia) Yuri

Authors: Novozhilov, Yuri K. & Shchepin, Oleg N. & Gmoshinskiy, Vladimir I. & Schnittler, Martin
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 292-315.
Full text: PDF
Key words: Amoebozoa, Arctic, Kola Peninsula, Myxogastria, Russia, biodiversity, mountainous tundra, northern taiga, slime molds, species inventory

Abstract: Northern taiga forests and subalpine plant communities of the Laplandskiy State Nature Biosphere Reserve (Kola Peninsula, Russia) were surveyed for myxomycetes. A total of 1675 specimens of myxomycete fruit bodies (sporocarps) were registered, among them 1584 records from field collections and 92 obtained from 210 moist chamber cultures of ground litter, bark of living trees, wood, and weathered dung of moose and willow ptarmigan. Most of 125 taxa (124 morphospecies and one variety) representing 34 genera were recorded only in the field (104 taxa from 32 genera), but some were exclusively obtained from moist chamber cultures (8 taxa from 5 genera). All of the recorded species are new for the Laplandskiy Reserve. Species numbers decreased among the four studied forest associations along the elevation and mositure gradient, and the Shannon index showed a similar trend: spruce forest (PICa; 84 taxa, H’=3.8), spruce-peat moss forest (PICb; 70, 3.5), dry spruce-pine forest (PIN; 62, 3.7), subalpine birch forest (SB; 30, 2.7). The estimated completeness of the survey according to the Chao1 estimator was 66%, indicating that most of the more common species should have been recovered. The trend among forest associations runs mainly parallel to diversity: PICa and PICb 83%, PIN 47%, SB 57%. The myxomycete assemblage of dry coniferous forests is the most distinctive among the three forest types and shows the highest number of indicator species. The overall degree of specialization of myxomycetes is higher for substrate type than for forest associations. Among substrate types, species diversity and richness increase from litter over bark to wood.

A comparative diversity study of myxomycetes in the lowland forests of Mt. Malasimbo and Mt. Siburan, Mindoro Island, Philippines

Authors: Pecundo, Melissa H. & Dagamac, Nikki Heherson A. & dela Cruz, Thomas Edison E.
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 275-291.
Full text: PDF
Key words: Biosphere reserve, Ecotourism, Forest watershed, Plasmodial slime mold, UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme

Abstract: Million years ago, the island of Mindoro separated from mainland Asia. Its geologic origin led to many species distinct from Asia and the other islands of the Philippines. In this study, two lowland mountain forests – Mt. Malasimbo (MM) in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, and Mt. Siburan (MS) in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro – were surveyed for myxomycetes. The combined opportunistic sampling in the field and the setting up of 1,260 moist chamber cultures retrieved a total of 1,007 fruiting body collections representing 50 species from 17 genera. A relatively higher number of taxa (49 species) was recorded in Mt. Siburan than in Mt. Malasimbo (36). Seventeen species were classified as rare with only four taxa that were widely distributed in both study sites, namely, Arcyria cinerea, Perichaena pedata, Diderma hemisphaericum, and Lamproderma scintillans. Higher species diversity and richness were noted for Mt. Siburan than Mt. Malasimbo, but a clear similarity in species composition (CC = 0.80) and abundance (PS = 0.72) can be observed between forest sites. This suggest that lowland natural forest habitats of Mt. Malasimbo and Mt. Siburan are hotspots of myxomycete diversity. This research represents the most comprehensive survey of myxomycetes in Mindoro Island.

Documenting the first records of myxomycetes on rice litter of Cotabato, Southern Mindanao, Philippines

Authors: Buisan, Prince Nur-Hakeem & Abu, Datujun & Catipay, John Paul & Dango, Charles Jason & Supremo, Janette & Dagamac, Nikki Heherson
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 250-259.
Full text: PDF
Key words: microhabitat, plasmodia, slime mold, Southern Philippines, monotypic vegetation, agricultural litter

Abstract: Although studies of myxomycetes in plantations have started to appear in the last few years, some agroecosystems with homogenous vegetation remain unexplored. This holds true for rice agroecosystems. A study comparing the occurrence of myxomycetes in organic and conventional rice fields in the province of Cotabato was carried out in rice farms in the municipalities of Kabacan and Midsayap. Ground and aerial litters were randomly collected from rice fields to set up moist chamber cultures. Three cosmopolitan species of myxomycetes are reported in this study, namely Arcyria cinerea, Diderma hemisphaericum, and Perichaena depressa. Moist chambers set up with rice litter substrates from organic fields showed significantly higher percentage yield than moist chambers with the substrates from conventional rice farms. This study is the first to explore the distribution of myxomycetes in rice agroecosystems of the Philippines and to compare different farming practices.

Diversity of corticolous myxomycetes in the last glacial refugia of Cryptomeria japonica in Japan

Authors: Takahashi, Kazunari
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 260-274.
Full text: PDF
Key words: Biogeography, Corticolous myxomycetes, Cryptomeria japonica, Phylogenetic distribution, Last glacial refuges, Snow cover depth, Species diversity

Abstract: Cryptomeria japonica, commonly known as Japanese cedar, is now widely distributed from glacial refuges to the entire Japanese archipelago, after the last ice age. The bark surface provides a habitat for many corticolous myxomycetes. Although corticolous myxomycetes are known to prefer tree species, the association between myxomycete distribution and host tree (C. japonica) divergence across the refuges has not been investigated. In this study, myxomycete communities in five refuges were assessed and compared with those in 14 peripheral areas. Bark samples were collected from at least 10 trees per site and were subjected to the moist chamber culture method (10 Petri dishes per tree) to examine the myxomycete fruiting bodies strictly. Environmental variables such as geographical location, climate condition, and bark traits (tree size, bark pH, and electric conductivity) were measured. Fruiting bodies appeared in 91% of the cultures, and 32 taxa (31 species and one varie ty) were recorded. Comparison of the communities between refuges and peripheral sites showed six myxomycete species, Arcyria cinerea, Macbrideola argentea, Cribraria minutissima, Clastoderma debaryanum, Physarum viride and Physarum pusillum, were significantly more abundant in the refuges and these communities preserved higher species diversity. By nonmetric multidimensional scaling, the communities in the Pacific side and the Sea of Japan side were ordered based on snow cover depth, in a pattern similar to the phylogenetic distribution of the host tree. Myxomycete groups were identified in the northern region, the Sea of Japan region, and the southern region (including Yakushima Island) of Japan. Thus, the refugial tree populations preserved the myxomycete species diversity on their bark and functioned as an important hotspot for myxomycetes. The distribution of corticolous myxomycetes was associated with the diversification and biogeographical distribution history of their host tree, C. japonica.

A comprehensive checklist of Estonian myxomycetes

Authors: Yatsiuk, Iryna & Adamonytė, Gražina & Kastanje, Veiko
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 241-249.
Full text: PDF
Key words: slime molds, Baltic countries, species diversity

Abstract: The history of the myxomycetes research in Estonia dates back to the middle of the 19th century, with first data occurring in the H. A. Dietrich’s book published in 1856. The current work summarizes all the published reports of Estonian myxomycetes as well as some unpublished data and herbaria revisions. After the assessment of the taxonomic status of published records and bringing in line with currently accepted taxonomy, we present the updated checklist of the myxomycetes of Estonia, comprising 150 species representing 39 genera. Eleven species were excluded from the list as doubtful.

An annotated checklist of myxomycetes from the Seychelles Islands, Indian Ocean

Authors: Kryvomaz, Tetiana & Michaud, Alain & Stephenson, Steven L.
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 215-240.
Full text: PDF
Key words: Amoebozoa, biodiversity, island myxomycetes, plant substrates, species inventory, tropics

Abstract: The checklist provided herein contains 143 species and infra-specific taxa of myxomycetes representing six orders, 12 families and 29 genera known from the Seychelles Islands. These records are the result of 878 field collections and 468 samples processed with the use of the moist chamber techinque. The overall study involved expeditions to the granitic group of islands Mahé, Praslin, La Digue, Curieuse, Félicité, and data from the literature for the coral Aldabra atoll. The taxonomic structure of the myxomycete biota for the islands studied indicates a predominance of members of the order Physarales (74 taxa). Th e main genera are Physarum (38 species and two varieties), Didymium (17 species), Cribraria (11 species), Arcyria (eight species) and Stemonitis (six species and two varieties). For all six islands only a single species of myxomycete (Physarum crateriforme) was shared in common. For the total assemblage of species recorded from all of the islands, 4% species were abundant, 12% species were common, 29% were found occasionally, 42% were rare, and 13% species had only a single record. The most abundant species were Arcyria cinerea, A. denudata, Diderma effusum, Hemitrichia calyculata, Physarum compressum, and P. melleum. Based on data from 50 different localities with 90 collecting plots, 32% of all specimens were associated with coastal vegetation, 30% with lowland localities, 19% with intermediate forests, 9% with riverine forests, 8% with mountain forests, and only 2% with mangrove swamps. In general, this annotated checklist clearly shows that isolated tropical islands can support a diverse assemblage of myxomycetes.