Image: Eureka Prize: Rosecomb in protected Hygrocybe reesiae

Eureka Prize: Rosecomb in protected Hygrocybe reesiae

For promotion of New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography only.

Ray & Elma Kearney
© Ray & Elma Kearney


Rosecomb (abnormal gills - diesel toxicity) in protected Hygrocybe reesiae - The holotype (new), mushroom Hygrocybe reesiae, originally found in Lane Cove Bushland Park (LCBP), was listed (2000) under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995. For the first time, abnormal changes in protected waxcaps (Hygrocybe fungi) in LCBP are recorded. ‘Rosecomb’ refers to the gross malformations when mushrooms are exposed to petroleum products. H. reesiae rosecomb is not a genetic mutation rather genetic instability coupled with an exogenous factor e.g., diesel fumes to induce changes in morphogenesis of gills, late in development of the fruiting structure. (Analogy: thalidomide teratology) Extinction may occur if threats remain. Image cropped.


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