Gyromitra infula, first report of genus Gyromitra in Iran

Document Type : Short Report


Department of Botany, Iranian Research Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO),Tehran, Iran


Gyromitra Fr. is a widespread genus of apothecial ascomycetous fungi with 18 species. The genus had previously been grouped in Rhiziniaceae and Helvellaceae families. Analysis of the rDNA showed Gyromitra is related to the genera Discina, Hydnotrya and Pseudorhizina and the genus was transferred to the Discinaceae (O'Donnell et al. 1997, Methven et al. 2013).
In the framework of identifying of larger ascomycetous fungi of Iran, specimens of genus Gyromitra , collected from Mazandaran province, were identified as G. infula (Schaeff.) Quél. (van Nooren and Moreau 2009 a,b; Abbott and Currah, 1997), as a new report for genus Gyromitra in Iran.
Morphological characteristics of specimens are as follows: Ascocarp is a stipitate apothecium with 3-8 cm high and 3-6 cm broad, cup-shaped when young, but soon becoming irregular, lobate (with two or occasionally three to four lobes) or saddle-shape. Upper surface more or less glabrous, wavy to irregularly bumpy, margin curved toward the stipe and eventually becomes fused to it. Cap yellowish-brown to orange brown, with black line or spots in curved margin; context, thin, brittle. Odor and taste not distinctiveStipe is 2-6 cm high, 1-2.5 cm thick, equal to enlarged at the base, with a longitudinal deep fold,and surface glabrous to pruinose. The base is often cover with whitish mycelium in dark background, pinkish to tinged lilac with darker zones in base(Fig 1).
Asci are cylindrical, 8-spored, and 200-300 x 10-20 µm diameter. Ascospores are 17-20 x 7-9 µm, narrowly ellipsoid; with two large oil droplets, smooth, hyaline, thin-walled. Paraphyses are 6-10 µm wide, snd capitate with a swollen head (Fig 1).
The saddle shaped ascocarp with two or more prominent lobes and color of ascocarp are specific characteristics for differentiation of G. infula from other Gyromitra species. Gyromitra infula is a poisonous fungus, due to its toxic constituent’s gyromitrin, that then turns into toxic compounds monomethylhydrazine.
Specimens examined: Mazandaran: Noor, Chamestan, on wood, 100 m, 13.10.2010, Asef and Torabi (IRAN 15672 F), Mazandaran: Pool to Baladeh, on woody soil 10.09.2009, Asef and Torabi (IRAN 15673 F), Mazandaran: Noshahr, Kheiroudkenar, on wood, 05.10.2011, Jafarpur (IRAN 15674 F).