Studies on the genus Entorrhiza C. weber (Ustilaginales)
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This study began when a number of collections of unknown but obviously related fungi in root-swellings of the Cyperaceae and Juncaceae were brought to me for identification. Attempts to identify the endophytes by reference to manuals on plant diseases were unsuccessful. Eventually a discussion of the group was found in Kelley's "Mycotrophy of Plants" (1950). This author stated that they were considered to be members of the genus Entorrhiza in the Tilletiaceae. In standard references on the Ustilaginales available in New Zealand (eg. Ainsworth & Sampson, 1950; Fischer & Holton, 1957) the genus was mentioned only briefly and according to Fischer (1951) almost all the relevant literature was in early German publications. In 1969-1970 while on leave in the Mycology section of the Department of Special Botany at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, I had the opportunity to study the literature on Entorrhiza and to examine early European herbarium collections. To a limited extent, I was also able to collect new material from type localities. Without this opportunity to assemble information on the genus, the work described in this thesis would have been difficult to carry out in New Zealand. Previous collections of Entorrhiza were almost entirely from Central Europe and Scandinavia;. reports of Entorrhiza on the Cyperaceae and Juncaceae were rare for Britain and completely lacking for the North American continent and the Southern Hemisphere. Initially the study was directed mainly towards identifying the New Zealand collections (Fineran, 1971). During this work it became clear that a detailed investigation of some aspects of this relatively little known genus would prove informative. This thesis presents the results from such an investigation.