Classifying fungus based on morphological traits is an effective strategy to distinguish between puffballs, earthballs, earthstars, and other gasteroid fungi, as well as for identifying sub-groups of closely related taxon. However, to delimitate taxa it should be addressed with caution, since cryptic species have been described recently in different genera of gasteroid fungi. Astraeus is a star-shaped fungus that has piqued the interest of mycologists worldwide, including India. These endearing fungi have tremendous nutritional and therapeutic benefits, but their molecular and phylogenetic placement in India is uncertain. An integrative taxonomic approach was used to identify and resolve ambiguities within the genus. This study, the first to elucidate the distribution, taxonomy, and phylogeny of the genus Astraeus in the mixed subtropical Pinus-Shorea forest and tropical dry deciduous Shorea dominated forest in India, aims to shed light on these indispensable ectomycorrhizal fungi. The phylogenetic analysis assigned all thirteen ITS DNA barcoding Indian sequences of Astraeus to the Southeast Asian clade, reinforcing the genus Southeast Asian origin. Detailed species descriptions, line diagrams, SEM images of basidiospores, ITS nrDNA based phylogeny, and a dichotomous key are provided. Mycoobservations of the taxon from Pinus-Shorea subtropical and Shorea-dominated forests were additionally reviewed.
Ahmad, S. 1950. Studies in gasteromycetes. Sydowia. 4(1–6): 124–129.
Balasundaram, S. V., Engh, I. B., Skrede, I. & Kauserud, H. 2015. How many DNA markers are needed to reveal cryptic fungal species? Fungal Biology: 119(10), 940–945. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funb....
Baseia, I. G. & Galvao, T. C. O. 2002. Some interesting Gasteromycetes (Basidiomycota) in dry areas from Northeastern Brazil. Acta Bot Brasilica 16: 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-....
Biswas, G., Rana, S., Sarkar, S. & Acharya, K. 2011. Cardioprotective activity of ethanolic extract of Astraeus hygrometricus (Pers.) Morg. Pharmacologyonline 2: 808–817.
Crous, P. W., Carnegie, A. J., Wingfield, M. J., Sharma, R., Mughini, G., Noordeloos, M. E. & Silva, B. D. B. 2019. Fungal Planet description sheets: 868–950. Persoonia: Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi 42: 291. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3767/persoo....
Edler, D., Klein, J., Antonelli, A. & Silvestro, D. 2021. raxmlGUI 2.0: A graphical interface and toolkit for phylogenetic analyses using RAxML. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 12(2): 373–377. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-2....
Fangfuk, W., Okada, K., Petchang, R., To-anun, C., Fukuda, M. & Yamada, A. 2010a. In vitro mycorrhization of edible Astraeus mushrooms and their morphological characterization. Mycoscience, 51(3): 234–241.
Fangfuk, W., Fukuda, M., Yamada, A., Petchang, R. & To-anun, C. 2010b. Identification of Japanese Astraeus, based on morphological and phylogenetic analyses. Mycoscience 51(4): 291–299. https://doi.org/10.1007/S10267....
Gardes, M. & Bruns, T. D. 1993. ITS primers with enhanced specificity for basidiomycetes‐application to the identification of my-corrhizae and rusts. Molecular Ecology 2(2): 113–118. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365....
Hawksworth, D. L .2012. Global species numbers of fungi: are tropical studies and molecular approaches contributing to a more robust estimate? Biodiversity and Conservation 21: 2425–2433. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531....
Hembrom, M. E., Parihar, A., Martín, M. P., Watling, R. & Das, K. 2014. First report Astraeus odoratus from India. Kavaka (42): 16–19.
Kaewgrajang, T., Sangwanit, U., Iwase, K., Kodama, M. & Yamato, M. 2013. Effects of ectomycorrhizal fungus Astraeus odoratus on Dipterocarpus alatus seedlings. Journal of Tropical Forest Science 25(2): 200–205.
Khan, F. & Chandra, R. 2022. Antioxidant activity of phenolic compound of Astraeus hygrometricus: A Case of Ranchi, India. Journal of Tropical Biodiversity and Biotechnology 7(1): 67896. https://doi.org/10.22146/jtbb.....
Kornerup, A. & Wanscher, J. H. 1978. Methuen handbook of colour. 3rd edition. Eyre Methuen and Co. Ltd., New York.
Kreisel, H. 1974. Die Gattung Diplocystis und ihre Stellung im System der Basidiomycetes. Feddes Repertorium. 85(5–6): 325–335 (in German).
Malajczuk, N., Molina, R. & Trappe, J. M. 1982. Ectomycorrhiza formation in Eucalyptus: I. Pure culture synthesis, host specificity and mycorrhizal compatibility with Pinus radiata. New Phytologist 91(3): 467–482.
Mallick, S., Dey, S., Mandal, S., Dutta, A., Mukherjee, D., Biswas, G. & Pal, C. 2015. A novel triterpene from Astraeus hygrometricus induces reactive oxygen species leading to death in Leishmania donovani. Future Microbiology 10(5): 763–789.
Martin, G. W. 1936. A key to the families of fungi exclusive of liches. University of Iowa Studies in Natural History 17: 83–115.
Massee, G. 1889. New or imperfectly known gasteromycetes. Grevillea 19: 94–98.
McGinnis, S. & Madden, T. L. 2004 BLAST: at the core of a powerful and diverse set of sequence analysis tools. Nucleic Acids Research. 32(2): W20–W25. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gk....
Mishra, S. N., Gupta, H. S. & Kulkarni, N. 2021. Impact of climate change on the distribution of Shorea species. Ecological Informatics 61: 101244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoi....
Morgan, A. P. 1889. North American fungi: the gasteromycetes. Journal of Cincinnati Society of Natural History 12: 8–22.
Nouhra, E. R. & De Toledo, L. D. 1998. The first record of Astraeus hygrometricus from Argentina. Mycologist 12(3): 112–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0269-....
Pavithra, M., Greeshma, A., Karun, N. & Sridhar, K. 2015. Observations on the Astraeus spp. of Southwestern India. Mycosphere 6(4): 421–432.
Paz, A., Bellanger, J. M., Lavoise, C., Molia, A., Ławrynowicz, M., Larsson, E. & Moreau, P. A. 2017. The genus Elaphomyces (Ascomycota, Eurotiales): a ribosomal DNA-based phylogeny and revised systematics of European deer truffles. Persoonia: Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi 38(1): 197–239. https://doi.org/10.3767/003158....
Pegler, D., Laessoe, T. & Sapooner, B. M. 1995. British puffballs, Earthstar, and Stinkhonrs. Royal Botanic Garden Kew 255.
Persoon, H. C. 1801. Synopsis methodica fungorum. Göttingen 129–156: 241–246 (in German).
Phosri, C. 2004. Characterization and development of tropical gasteromycete fungi in ectomycorrhizal associations; Ph.D, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.
Phosri, C., Watling, R., Martín, M. P. & Whalley, A. J. S. 2004. The genus Astraeus in Thailand. Mycotaxon 89(2): 453–464.
Phosri, C., Martín, M. P., Sihanonth, P., Whalley. & Watling, R. 2007. Molecular study of the genus Astraeus. Mycological Progress 111(3): 275–286. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mycr....
Phosri, C., Martín, M. P., Watling, R. 2013. Astraeus: hidden dimensions. IMA Fungus 4(2): 347–356. https://doi.org/10.5598/imafun....
Phosri, C., Watling, R., Suwannasai, N., Wilson, A. & Martín, M. P. 2014. A new representative of star-shaped fungi: Astraeus sirindhorniae sp. nov. from Thailand. Plos One 9(5): e71160. https://doi.org/10.1371/journa....
Ronquist, F., Teslenko, M., Van Der Mark, P., Ayres, D. L., Darling, A., Höhna, S. & Huelsenbeck, J. P. 2012. MrBayes 3.2: efficient Bayesian phylogenetic inference and model choice across a large model space. Systematic Biology 61(3): 539–542.
Roy, N., Jha, D. K. & Dutta, A. K. 2022. A checklist of the macrofungi of North East India. Studies in Fungi 7(1): 1–24.
Ryoo, R., Sou, H., Park, H. & Ka, K. H. 2017. Astraeus ryoocheoninii sp. nov. from Korea and Japan and phylogenetic relationships within Astraeus. Mycotaxon 132(1): 63–72.
Semwal, K. C., Stephenson, S. L., Bhatt, V. K. & Bhatt, R. P. 2014. Edible mushrooms of the Northwestern Himalaya, India: a study of indigenous knowledge, distribution and diversity. Mycosphere 5(3): 440–461.
Singh, P. 2020. Assessment of nutritional value and chemical composition of edible wild mushroom Astraeus hygrometricus Pers Morgan. PhD, Forest Research Institute University, Dehradun, India.
Singha, K., Banerjee, A., Pati, B. R., Das. & Mohapatra, P. K. 2017. Eco-diversity, productivity and distribution frequency of mushrooms in Gurguripal Eco-forest, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, India. Current Research in Environmental and Applied Mycology 7(1): 8–18.
Sousa, J. O., Suz, L. M., García, M. A., Alfredo, D. S., Conrado, L. M., Marinho, P. & Martín, M. P. 2017. More than one fungus in the pepper pot: Integrative taxonomy unmasks hidden species within Myriostoma coliforme (Geastraceae, Basidiomycota). PloS One 12(6): e0177873. https://doi.org/10.1371/journa....
Suwannasai, N., Dokmai, P., Yamada, A., Watling, R. & Phosri, C. 2020. First ectomycorrhizal syntheses between Astraeus sirindhorniae and Dipterocarpus alatus (Dipterocarpaceae), pure culture characteristics, and molecular detection. Biodiversitas Journal of Biological Diversity 21(1).
Talavera, G. & Castresana, J. 2007. Improvement of phylogenies after removing divergent and ambiguously aligned blocks from protein sequence alignments. Systematic Biology 56(4): 564–577.
Tedersoo, L., Bahram, M., Põlme, S., Kõljalg, U., Yorou, N. S., Wijesundera, R. & Abarenkov, K. 2014. Global diversity and geography of soil fungi. Science 346(6213): 1256688. https://doi.org/10.1126/scienc....
Topno, K. R. & Srivastava, A. K. 2021. Identification of puffball found in Chota Nagpur plateau through Molecular characterization. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 10(4): 404–407.
Trappe, J. M. 1967. Pure culture synthesis of Douglas-fir mycorrhizae with species of Hebeloma, Suillus, Rhizopogon, and Astraeus. Forest Science 13(2): 121–130.
Vishal, V., Munda, S. S., Sousa, O. J., Singh, G. & Lal, S. 2021. G. aff. albonigrum (Geastraceae, Agaricomycetes): A new earthstar fungus from India. Indian Journal of Applied and Pure Biology 36(2): 381–388.
Verma, R. K., Pandro, V., Mishra, S. N., Raj, D. & Asaiya, A. J. K. 2019. Shorea forest: a source of wild edible mushrooms for livelihood support to tribal people of Dindori district, Madhya Pradesh, India. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Science 8: 563–575.
Webster, J. & Weber R. 2007. Introduction to Fungi. Cambridge University Press. U.K.
White, T. J., Bruns, T., Lee, S. J. W. T. & Taylor, J. 1990. Amplification and direct sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA genes for phylogenetics. PCR protocols: a guide to methods and applications 18(1): 315–322.
Wilson, A. W., Binder, M. & Hibbett, D. S. 2011. Effects of gasteroid fruiting body morphology on diversification rates in three independent clades of fungi estimated using binary state speciation and extinction analysis. Evolution: International Journal of Organic Eevolution 65(5): 1305–1322. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558....
Zamora, J. C., Calonge, F. D. & Martín, M. P. 2015. Integrative taxonomy reveals an unexpected diversity in Geastrum section Geastrum (Geastrales, Basidiomycota). Persoonia: Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi 34(1): 130–165. https://doi.org/10.3767/003158....
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top