Taxonomy of the major rhizomorphic species of the “Melanopus group” within Polyporaceae in YasuníNational Park, Ecuador

Cristina E Toapanta, María E. Ordoñez, Charles W. Barnes, Robert A. Blanchette

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Yasuní National Park in Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse places on earth. The fungi in this tropical rainforest are also diverse but have received little research attention. This research paper focuses on an important group of fungi in the family Polyporaceae and examines the genera Polyporus, Atroporus, and Neodictyopus that form aerial melanized cord-like structures called rhizomorphs. Phylogenetic analyses, macro and micromorphological descriptions of basidiomata and rhizomorphs, as well as cultural characterization were completed to better understand these ecologically important fungi. Here we describe four new species: Atroporus yasuniensis, Atroporus tagaeri, Neodictyopus sylvaticus, and Polyporus taromenane, and a new variety Polyporus leprieurii var. yasuniensis. The information presented in this study adds important new knowledge about the unusual rhizomorph producing fungi found in Yasuní National Park, Ecuador and other tropical rainforests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0254567
JournalPloS one
Issue number8 August
StatePublished - Aug 2021

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