WAR  of  the  MICROWORLDS  

How do I kill Thee?   Let me count the Ways!   (# 14)   click here for full list

Peniophorella praetermissa is a resupinate species of the Basidiomycota that decays wood.   Hyphae of the fungus produce bulbous, two-celled lateral growths called stephanocysts at intervals along the vegetative hyphae.  These stephanocysts capture nematodes that are then colonized and consumed. BASIDIOMYCOTA.

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Peniophorella (formerly in Hyphoderma, Basidiomycota) captures nematodes using stephanocysts.   This fungus produces resupinate (flat) fruitbodies on dead wood (corticioid). For many years these were merely a curiosity and their function was unknown.   In Taiwan, however, Tzean and Liou made the exciting discovery that the function of stephanocysts was to capture and consume nematodes, opening another chapter in the remarkable saga of predatory wood decay fungi (Tzean and Liou. 1993. Phytopathology 83: 1015).    It is clear that the hyphae that produce stephanocysts and capture and consume neamtodes are not congeneric with those species that do not have this capability.   Using molecular techniques this was proved by  Larsson (TBMS 111: 186-195) who transferred those species of Hyphoderma producing stephanocysts to Peniophorella.

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Note how the cuticle of the nematode captured by stephanocysts has drawn away from the hypodermis as the captured nematode struggles to escape from its own skin! ( x = capture points).