Direct Negative Effects On Invertebrates Killing By Basidiomycota

As far as we are aware, there are no reports of epizootics of arthropods caused by Basidiomycota, though there are undoubtedly examples of killing. There is certainly evidence that mycelium of Hypholoma fasciculare can kill Collembola in some situations (T.D. Rotheray et al., unpublished). Mycelium of certain groups of Basidiomycota kill and subsequently utilize nematodes, often producing specialized killing structures, including Pleurotus species (e.g. P. ostreatus, P. cornucopiae and P. tuber-regium which produce droplets of toxin on aerial stalks; Thorn and Barron, 1984; Hibbett and Thorn, 1994); Hohenbuehelia species producing adhesive secretory cells on hyphae or conidia (Thorn and Barron, 1984); and some Hyphoderma species producing stephanocysts (previously thought to be dispersal propagules) that are trapping devices (Tzean and Liou, 1993) (the stephanocytes exude a chemical that bonds tightly to the nematode cuticle, and in attempting to pull away the nematode may frequently disintegrate (Burdsall, 1969)); and Coprinus comatus producing structures looking like spiny balls, which may be the instruments of death (Luo et al., 2004). On the other hand, though Conocybe lactea paralyzes by toxic droplets from secretory mycelial appendages, there is currently no evidence of subsequent colonization (Hutchison et al., 1995).

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