ISSN 1188-603X

No. DXVI April 1, 2017 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, 1809 Penshurst, Victoria, BC, Canada V8N 2N6


From: Adolf Ceska

For Plate 1 see:

A species of Inocybe, common in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia was documented and described as new by Matheny et al. (2013). The species, Inocybe chondroderma, is characterized by these features: pileus with a fulvous disk and ochraceous to chamois margin, presence of a cortina, densely mycelioid stipe base, smooth spores and fall phenology. Mathewny et al. (l.c.) examined GenBank DNA sequences and found that Inocybe chondroderma had beeen filed under 10 different names, and none of the GenBank records was labeled as Inocybe chondroderma. They criticised the fact that the not-yet-described species were being filed in the GenBank under wrong names of then existing species, but they did not offer any solution to this problem.

The most reliable and distinctive feature of the species is a blue-green or turquoise reaction in response to application of a solution of pdimethylaminobenzaldehyde (PDAB), indicating the presence of what is most likely an indole alkaloid. PDAB use provides a quick and diagnostic character "easily implemented in a laboratory setting". Based on this recommendation we started to pursue this chemical way of identification of our specimens. PDAB test is in fact the detection of indole-like alkaloids using the so-called Ehrlich's Reagent. The reagent is prepared by dissolving 0.5–2.0 g of p–dimethylaminobenzaldehyde (DMAB) in 50 mL of 95% ethanol and 50 mL of concentrated hydrochloric acid. After we gathered all the necessary chemicals, we have realized that we cannot make our own Ehrlich's Reagent and use it just in our kitchen-sink setting. After I studied this issue, I realized that the Ehrlich's Reagent is used in the common police testing kits for detection of LSD. I visited the drug specialist in the Victoria City Police Headquarters, who gave me the NIK® Test D – LSD, which is in fact a modified Ehrlich's Reagent. He gave me instructions on how to use it and showed me how to do the test. With the police kit, we went to the BC Forestry Lab, where they had just received a fresh collection of Inocybe chondroderma and behold, the test was positive. Then we tested freshly collected unknown Ramaria and it tested positive as well. So did even roasted peanuts (Arachis hypogaea L.). Only recently, when I studied the NIX-D testing kit label more carefully, I realized that this D-kit should have been used only after the previous tests with both kit A and kit B tested positively.

I am colorblind, but I can easily recognize Inocybe chondoroderma by its unusual colour and by the broadly conical shape of the cap. Matheny et al. cited Inocybe chondroderma collections from British Columbia (mostly southern Vancouver Island), Washington and Oregon. We would greatly appreciate any collections of this and similar Inocybe collections from elsewhere in North America and Eurasia.


Matheny, P.B., Norvell, L.L. & Giles, E.C., 2013.
A common new species of Inocybe in the Pacific Northwest with a diagnostic PDAB reaction. Mycologia 105(2): 436-446.


From: Adolf Ceska

For Plate 2 see:

How do you handle annotations when you are typing your collection data into your herbarium database? Most of the herbarium databases have special fields for annotations, but those fields are usually too few to accommodate all the annotations that go with some controversial herbarium specimens. Some herbaria simply cross out the old name (or ID) and put the new name in that name field instead. Have a look at Plate 2 and tell me how it would be presented in your computer herbarium database. Some institutions just replace the original species name with a new name or with a new identification, but the annotation history is lost when you do it that way. How do you approach this problem in your herbarium?


From: Grubisha, L.C., Dowie, N.J., Miller, S.L., Hazard, C., Trowbridge, S.M., Horton, T.R. & Klooster, M.R. 2014. Rhizopogon kretzerae sp. nov.: the rare fungal symbiont in the tripartite system with Pterospora andromedea and Pinus strobes. Botany 92(7): 527-534.

For Plate 3 see:

Abstract: The first species of Rhizopogon subgenus Amylopogon identified from eastern North America is described here as Rhizopogon kretzerae Grubisha, Dowie, & Mill. sp. nov. In nature, Rhizopogon kretzerae has been identi?ed only from DNA sequences of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) from mycorrhizal roots of Pinus strobus L. and Pterospora andromedea Nutt. Phylogenetic analyses and nucleotide divergence estimates of Rhizopogon ITS sequences from Pterospora roots from Quebec, Michigan, New York, and New Hampshire combined with ITS sequences of Rhizopogon subgenus Amylopogon species type collections suggest R. kretzerae is a sister-group to Rhizopogon salebrosus A.H.Sm.An absence of shared mutations, two informative sequence gaps, and 12 ?xed nucleotide differences differentiate R. kretzerae and R. salebrosus. Furthermore, ITS sequences of 40 Pterospora root samples from ?ve populations in the province of Quebec provided the ?rst record of the distribution of R. kretzerae, a potentially rare to endangered species, in eastern Canada.


From: Thomas Sasek in HERBARIA [] - Tue 2017-03-28 16:05

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Museum of Natural History (ULM), which includes ca. 330 herbarium cases with close to 500,000 specimen herbarium built by R. Dale Thomas, was given 48 hours to close its doors and find another location for the collections on campus. The building is to be demolished to make way for a stadium. If you have recommendations for relocation of the herbarium or want to contact the administration about this horrible decision, these are the people to write: This is Tom Sasek -- I'm the acting Director for Museum this year but you can also contact Dr. Carr, Dr. Douglas, or Dennis Bell. If you want to contact an administrator, the Director of the School of Sciences is Dr. Anne Case-Hanks and the Dr. Lemoine is the Dean of the College. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Pani made the decision, with President Dr. Bruno's approval I assume.


From: Bryce Kendrick

I have just read a truly fascinating book, Homo Deus, by Y.N. Harari, which delves into the past and the near future of the human race. He perorates on the rapidly increasing "intelligence" of computers, and their incremental roles in our society. On pages 325-326 he reports research carried out at Oxford by Frey and Osborne (2016) on "The future of Employment." The algorithm developed for this research suggests that 47% of US jobs are at risk. It concludes that 99% of telemarketers and insurance underwriters will lose their jobs to algorithms. Losses in other jobs will (probably) be: cashiers 97%, paralegal assistants 94%, bus drivers 89%, construction labourers 88%, archivists 76%, carpenters 72%, lifeguards 67%, librarians 65%, pilots 55%. Perhaps most worrisome to our academic community is the high rate of attrition prophesied for Botanists and Mycologists, both of which groups fall into the 50% range, especially when it seems that only 43% of economists, 35% of flight attendants, 15% of electricians, 11% of hairdressers, 7.4% of musicians and singers, and only 0.4% of dentists, physicians, surgeons, choreographers and elementary school teachers, will lose their jobs by April 1st, 2033.


Frey C.B. & Osborne M.A. 2016.
The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerization? Oxford Martin School, Programme on Technology and Employment, Oxford University.
Harari, Y.N. 2016.
Homo Deus: A brief history of tomorrow. Random House.

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