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Rai M.K., Singh , Jagdish and Deepak Acharya(1999): Morchella conica, a new report from Madhya Pradesh. Mushroom Research, 8(1): 61-62.
 
Morchella conica, a new report from Central India

M.K. Rai, Jagdish Singh* and Deepak Acharya

Microbiology Research Lab, Danielson College, Chhindwara, PIN - 480 001, M. P.

*Centre For Forestry and Human Resource Development, Nagpur Road, Chhindwara-480 001, M.P..

We report Morchella conica from Tamiya hills (about 1000 m from the sea level) hitherto unreported from Central India.

Morchella spp. are commonly called as morels. Generally, they occur on the heights ranging from 1600-1800 m and upto 2700 m from the sea level. It is humicolous fungus and is purely saprophytic. A number of morel species are found all over the North-Western Himalaya. However, so far, there is no report of Morchella spp. from Madhya Pradesh in general and Chhindwara in particular.

During the survey of edible mushrooms of tribal pockets of Chhindwara, the authors came across M. conica, at Tamiya hills (about 1000 m from sea level), hitherto not recorded from Central India (Table 1).

Specimens were studied both macro- and microscopically immediately after colletions. Free hand sections were mounted in water and stained with 1% congo red. The colour codes added in brackets are from Kornerup and Wanscher. The fungus cited has been deposited in Danielson College herbarium No. DDC 55.

Description

M. conica Pers. Chamkp. Comest. 257, 1819.

Apothecia: upto 8-10 cm in height, solitary, scattered; pileus more or less conical in shape, acute at the apex, 4-6 cm in length and 2.3-3.4 cm in diameter; pits elongated and more or less rectangular in form yellowish within, becoming brown to black when dry; ribs mostly longitudinally arranged and connected by cross ribs, yellowish to brown in colour. Stipe: 3-4 cm long and 2-3 cm thick, creamish in colour, brittles when dry; Asci: cylindric 250-260 um in length and a diameter of 16-12 um, 8-spored; Ascospores: uniseriate, 16-14 x 11-8 cm hyaline, singly, yellowish in mass, ellipsoid; Paraphyses: stout, enlarged above, 240-262 X 5-7 um (Figure 2)

Anatomy

Hymenium 270 um, sub-hymenium 25 um thick, hymenophoral trama 240 um; hyphae septate run horizontally and parallel with the surface of hymenium, cells are barrel-shaped (Figure 2).

Specimen examined

Sporophores scattered near slopes of Tamiya hills, on the sandy-loam rich organic sub stances (leaf-litter) in thick forest. The height of Tamiya hills is about 1000 m from sea level.

Comments

M. conica is characterized by more conic pileus strongly attenuated upwards; acute at apex. Overholts8 suggested that it was only a form of M. esculenta and the description given by Seaver9 distinguished it from M. esculenta only by the more conic shape. In the present collection, asci are longer as compared to description given by Seaver9. ________________________________________________

1. Theissen, F., Blatter Collecti Annls. Mycol., 1911, 9, 153-159.

2. Ghosh, R.N. and Pathak, N.C., Bull. Natl. Bot. Gardens (Lucknow), No. 71, 1962, 1-19.

3. Kornerup, A. and Wanscher, J.H., Methuen handbook of colour, Methuen and Co. Ltd., London, 1967, p 243.

4. Sohi, H.S., Seth, P.K. and Kumar. S., Indian J. of Hort., 1965, 22, 365-369.

5. Munjal, R.L. and Sharma, A.D., Some observations on the cultivation of Morchella. First Workshop on Mushroom Research. Himachal Pradesh University (Agriculture complex), Solan, Sponsored by ICAR (Abstract), 1975.

6. Waraitech, K.S., Kavaka, 1976, 4, 69-76.

7. Kaul, T.N., Indian Mushroom Sci, 1978, 1, 1-13.

8. Overholts, L.D., Proc. Penn. Acad Sci., 1934, 8, 108-114.

9. Seaver, F.J., The North American Cup Fungi (Operculates). Seaver, New York, 1928, p 284.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. One of the authors (MKR) is thankful to Professor S. A. Brown, Principal, Danielson College, Chhindwara for providing laboratory facilities.

Table 1. Earlier reports of Morchella conica

______________________________________________________

Author                                             Year                                           Places

______________________________________________________

Theissen1                                        1911                                   Dehradun and                                                                                              Siwalik Hills, U.P.

Ghosh and Pathak2                        1962                                   Kashmir Hills

Sohi et al.3                                      1965                                   Khadrala, H.P.

Munjal and Sharma4                     1975                                   H.P.

Waraitech5                                     1976                                  Tral, Kokernag,                                                                                                     Pahlgaon, Kashmir

Kaul6                                               1978                                  Harwan and  Shrinagar, Kashmir