Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (PKWS) is a major hotspot of biological diversity in Thailand but its fungal diversity has not been thouroughly explored. A two-year macrofungal study of this remote locality has resulted in the recognition of a new species of a star-shaped gasteroid fungus in the genus Astraeus. This fungus has been identified based on a morphological approach and the molecular study of five loci (LSU nrDNA, 5.8S nrDNA, RPB1, RPB2 and EF1-a). Multigene phylogenetic analysis of this new species places it basal relative to other Astraeus, providing additional evidence for the SE Asian orgin of the genus. The fungus is named in honour of Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn on the occasion the 84th birthday of her father, who have both been supportive of natural heritage studies in Thailand.
Astraeus sirindhorniae sp. nov.
Watling, Phosri, Sihanonth, A.W.Wilson & M.P. Martín
The species is named after Princess Sirindhorn on the occasion the 84th birthday of her father, who have both been supportive of natural heritage studies in Thailand and as a token of respect and recognition of the great interest shown by Her Majesty in the natural history and conservation of natural resources of Thailand. Now her name will be known in association with the Greek Titan of Astrology (Astraeus).
Thailand, Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary, Chaiyaphum, coll. C.Phosri, 9 September 2010, (BBH34830)
In rainy season, gregarious, partially buried in ultisols in dry deciduous forests associated with Dipterocarpus tuberculatus Roxb., Shorea obtusa Wall. and Shorea siamensis Miq.
North and Northeastern areas of Thailand.
In summary A. sirindhorniae is morphologically distinguished from A. odoratus, A. asiaticus and A. hygrometricus s.l. by basidiome and basidiospore size, spore ornamentation and peridium structure. Phylogenetic analysis clearly resolves Astraeus sirindhorniae as a basal lineage of Astraeus, within the Diplocystidiaceae and Sclerodermatineae. This systematic relationship, in combination with its associations with dipterocarp forests, it is probable that this species is ectomycorrhizal with members of the Dipterocarpaceae. Astraeus sirindhorniae represents a new gasteroid, star-shaped fungus from Thailand. This discovery reinforces the belief that fungi represent a group of organisms with many undescribed taxa; some of which exist within the dry evergreen dipterocarp forests of SE Asia.
Cherdchai Phosri, Roy Watling, Nuttika Suwannasai, Andrew Wilson and María P. Martín. 2014. A New Representative of Star-Shaped Fungi: Astraeus sirindhorniae sp. nov. from Thailand. PLoS ONE. 9(5): e71160. doi: dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071160