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Abstract Detail

Mycological Section

Blanchette, Robert A. [1], Kielsmeier-Cook, Joshua [1], Held, Benjamin W. [1], Ordonez, Maria E. [2], Toapanta, Cristina E. [3], Padilla, Carlos A. [3], Barnes, Charles W. [4].

Dead Man's Toes: A Stipitate Ganoderma from the Amazon Rainforest.

The Ecuadorian Amazon has tropical rainforests with extraordinary microbial diversity. Many fungi with unusual morphology, such as ‘Dead Man’s Fingers’ produced by Xylariaceous fungi, are common. In addition to these finger-like growths, it is also common to find odd fungal fructifications that resemble the toes of deceased people. These ‘Dead Man’s Toes’ are small, laterally stipitate basidiocarps that would usually be placed within the Ganoderma applanatum species complex. Phylogenetic analyses of nrDNA-ITS region from cultures and basidiocarps indicate this fungus is in a separate clade related to geographical origin and appears distinct from other Ganodermataceae studied in the Neotropics. Ethnological information on the traditional use of Ganoderma was obtained from a Native Waorani elder, living in Yasuni National Park near the Yasuni Research Station in the Ecuadorian Amazon, who indicated this knowledge was passed down to him from his father and his grandfather. Ganoderma fruiting bodies are collected by the Waorani, ground, steeped in hot water and then applied to the toes or feet 3 times a day to treat infections. The treatment is continued for 3 days. Although the macroscopic characteristics of the fruiting bodies have similarities to dead toes, the traditional use of this fungus has a focus on keeping toes healthy. Studies on the Neotropical Ganodermataceae as well as other fungi in the richly biodiverse Amazon rainforest are providing new information on their biological, sociological and ecological relationships.

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1 - University of Minnesota, Department of Plant Pathology, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, 495 Borlaug Hall, Department of Plant Pathology, St. Paul, MN, 55108, United States
2 - Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, School of Biological Sciences, Av. 12 octubre 1076, Quito, Ecuador
3 - Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas , Av. 12 de octubre 1076, Quito, Ecuador
4 - Universidad de Las Américas, Estudios y Desarrollo de Ingeniería, Calle José Queri s/n entre Av. Granados y Av. Eloy Alfaro, Quito, Ecuador

Tropical forest

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PMY002
Abstract ID:493
Candidate for Awards:None

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