Scanning electron microscopy of the spores of Gyromitra subg. Gyromitra and subg. Discina (Pezizales) 

Authors: Harmaja, Harri
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 16 (1976), pages 6-9.
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Abstract:  The spore surface was studied with the SEM in three species of Gyromitra Fr. subg. Gyromitra, viz. G. ambigua (Karst.) Harmaja, G. esculenta (Pers.) Fr. and G. infula (Fr.) Quél., and in two species of Gyromitra subg. Discina (Fr.) Harmaja, viz. G. gigas (Krombh.) Quél. and G. montana Harmaja. G. ambigua and G. esculenta have not been examined with the SEM before. The spores were found to be ornamented in all the species studied, having a fairly regular pattern with ridges running in different directions. The relief of the ornamentation varies with the species, being lowest in G. esculenta and highest in G. gigas. No differences in kind exist between the spore surfaces of the two subgenera, and the difference in degree is almost negligible between the ornamentation with the highest relief in subg. Gyromitra (in G. ambigua) and that with the lowest relief in subg. Discina (in G. montana). The difference between ‘smooth’ and rough spores can no longer be used as the basic generic character. Thus the present results justify the author’s earlier proposal that the genus Discina (Fr.) Fr. sensu Eckblad (i.e., including Maublancomyces Herter and Neogyromitra Imai) should be merged in Gyromitra.