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Title: Imaia, a new truffle genus to accommodate TerJezia gigantea

Author: Kovacs, Gabor M.; Trappe, James M.; Alsheikh, Abulmagid; Boka, Karoly Elliott;

Date: 2008

Source: Mycologia, Vol 100, No. 6, p. 930-939

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Originally described from Japan by Sanshi Imai in 1933, the hypogeous ascomycete Terjezia gigantea was subsequently discovered in the Appalachian Mountains of the USA. Morphological, electron microscopic, and phylogenetic studies of specimens collected in both regions revealed that, despite this huge geographic disjunction, (1) the Japanese and Appalachian specimens are remarkably similar both in morphology and the sampled rDNA sequences, (2) the species unambiguously falls into the Morchellaceae and is separated from the genus Terjezia in the Pezizaceae, (3) its spores are much larger than those of Terjezia spp. and are enclosed in a unique, electron-semitransparent, amorphous epispore that appears to be permeated with minute, meandering strands or canals. In addition to the molecular phylogenetic results, the numerous nuclei in ascospores, the dome shaped, striate ascus septal plugs and the long cylindric Woronin bodies also strengthen the family assignment to the Morchellaceae. Moreover, the species occurs in moist, temperate forests as opposed to the xeric to arid habitats of other TerJezia spp. We propose the new, monotypic genus Imaia to accommodate the species.

Keywords: Asa-Gray disjunction, Ascomycota, edible fungus, epispore, hypogeous, mycorrhizae, Pezizomycetes, phylogeny, sequestrate, ultrastructure

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Kovacs, Gabor M.; Trappe, James M.; Alsheikh, Abulmagid; Boka, Karoly, Elliott, Todd F. 2008. Imaia, a new truffle genus to accommodate TerJezia gigantea. Mycologia, Vol 100, No. 6, p. 930-939


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