Botanical Studies (2006) 47: 453-456.
Corresponding author: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel:
+886-2-27321104 ext. 3319; Fax: +886-2-27375419.
The genus Piptocephalis de Bary (Piptocephalidaceae,
Zoopagales, Zygomycetes) contains approximately
20 species (Grafenhan, 1998; Kirk et al., 2001), three
of which have been reported in Taiwan (Ho, 2003,
2004). Piptocephalis species have sporophores that
are dichotomously branched several times. A sterile
deciduous head cell is usually produced distally. Many
merosporangia are born on the head cell. The number of
spores contained within a merosporangium is variable.
The mature spores remain dry or are enclosed in a liquid
drop (Kirk, 1978). Species of Piptocephalis are obligate
parasites of other fungi mainly in the Mucorales. The
known habitats include dung, soil, and leaf litter.
A Piptocephalis species isolated from a soil sample
collected in Taiwan has features much like those of P.
richardii Baijal & B. S. Mehrotra (Grafenhan, 1998).
Piptocephalis richardii was first introduced by Baijal
and Mehrotra (1968), who apparently did not intend to
describe it but merely mentioned that the name would be
published later by Dr. R. K. Benjamin. Grafenhan (1998),
while revising the genus Piptocephalis in his M.S. thesis,
adopted P. richardii for a species resembling my Taiwan
fungus. To my knowledge, P. richardii has never been
validly published and only exists as a nomen nudum. I
thus propose a new name P. graefenhanii for the Taiwan
isolate to recognize Grafenhan°¶s contribution to the genus
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Soil samples were collected from Yangmingshan
National Park, Taipei, and brought back to the laboratory
in sterilized plastic bags. Two to three milligrams of
soil particles were placed on 1.7% corn meal agar
(Becton Dickinson) plates. The plates were incubated
C for nearly a week, before being observed under
a dissecting microscope. Sporophores of Piptocephalis
were transferred along with its host to fresh corn meal
agar plates and incubated at 24
C. After one week, the
mature spores of Piptocephalis were transferred again by
touching mature sporangia with a sterilized needle to pre-
marked spots on fresh corn meal agar plates. A day after
inoculation of Piptocephalis sporangia, the spores of the
host were inoculated in the vicinity of the parasite. After
4-7 days, the host was parasitized by the Piptocephalis.
Pertinent materials were selected for SEM studies
using a dissecting microscope and fixed for 1 h with
2.5% glutaraldehyde in distilled water, and then post-
fixed for 1 h with 1% osmium tetraoxide in distilled
water. The specimens were washed with distilled water
and dehydrated in a graded acetone series. Specimens
were dried in a critical point dryer, coated with gold,
and observed with a Hitachi S-520 scanning electron
microscope (SEM) at 20 KV.
Piptocephalis graefenhanii H.-M. Ho, sp. nov.
Hyphae vegetativae plerumque submersae, hyalinae.
Sporophora erecta vel ascendentia, laevia, postea prostrata
et distanter septata; stipites principales 900-4000 £gm
longi, 2.5-5 £gm lati, dichotomis successivis usque ad
septem praediti; rami basiles 600-2000 °— 2.5-5 £gm; rami
paenultimi 8-25 °— 1.3-1.5 £gm; rami termiles 6-18 °— 1 £gm.
Cellulae capituli deciduae, globosae, projecturis conicis,
(2-)3-5(-6) £gm diam, merosporangis 3-15 praeditae.
Merosporangia bispora, spora apicali e spora basili inflata.
Sporangiosporae ellipsoideae, laeves, hyalinae, (4-)5-6(-7)
A new species of Piptocephalis from Taiwan
Department of Science Education, National Taipei University of Education, No. 134, Sect. 2, Ho-Ping E. Rd., Taipei,
TAIWAN, Reublic of China
(Received October 14, 2005; Accepted April 10, 2006)
Piptocephalis graefenhanii, isolated from forest soil in Taiwan, is described as new. It is
characterized by rather delicate sporophores, globose head cells, two-spored merosporangia with the apical
spore produced from the basal one, and spore masses remaining dry when mature.
Keywords: Piptocephalis graefenhanii; Taiwan; Zygomycetes.