2023 Volume 64 Issue 6 Pages 136-149
Physisporinus, a genus in Polyporales, Basidiomycota, is a versatile fungus that lives as a wood decomposer, a potential pathogen of standing trees, and an orchid mycobiont. We previously reported that some Physisporinus species inhabiting wet wood in aquatic environments such as streams and waterfalls form synnema-like structures (SSs) bearing acanthophyses at their apices, and that they produce acanthophyses on vegetative hyphae when cultured on agar media. In this study, we investigated the acanthophysis-forming ability in Physisporinus and allied genera, and experimentally demonstrated the function of SSs. Phylogenetic analyses and observations of Meripilus, Physisporinus and Rigidoporus cultures showed that all of the strains forming acanthophyses belonged to Physisporinus, whereas strains of Meripilus and Rigidoporus did not produce acanthophyses. These findings suggest that SS/acanthophysis formation is a useful taxonomic character for members of Physisporinus. When Physisporinus strains were cultured under oxygen (O2) concentrations of 5, 10, 20 and 40%, most of those cultured under 20% O2 formed the most acanthophyses. According to these experimental data, the SSs/acanthophyses in Physisporinus were considered to have a respiratory function. Physisporinus probably acquired the SS/acanthophysis-forming ability to adapt to moist and/or aquatic habitats and to decay wet wood in which the O2 concentration is often low.