Lucanian Hypogeous and Semi-hypogeous Fungi

Table of Contents:


2.1.1 Pezizomycotina, Eurotiomycetes, Eurotiomycetidae, Elaphomycetales, Elaphomycetaceae (Tul. & C. Tul.) Paol.

The following three species of Elaphomyces grow in nature in the region:

E. leveillei Tul. & C. Tul., E. asperulus Vittad. and E. muricatus Fries. The first one was found in a mixed wood of Pignola (PZ) communal territory (Cerone et al. 2000); the second and the third ones were collected under oak and beech plants in Terranova di Pollino (PZ) area (Rana et al. 2008).

Table 1 Hypogeous and semi-hypogeous fungi found in Basilicata between 1994 and 2014, listed in the taxonomical order reported in the article






Elaphomyces leveillei, E. asperulus and E. muricatus


Balsamia vulgaris, Choiromyces meandriformis, Fisherula macrospora, Leucangium chartusianum and Picoa lefebvrei


Pachyphloeus citrinus, P. ligericus, P. conglomeratus

and Sarcosphaera coronaria var. coronaria


Genea fragrans, G. hispidula, G. lespiaultii,

G. sphaerica, G. verrucosa, G. papillosa, Geopora clausa, G. sumneriana and Stephensia bombycina


Terfezia arenaria and T. olbiensis


Reddellomyces donkii, T. aestivum, T. aestivum var.

uncinatum, T. asa-foetida, T. bellonae, T. borchii,

T. brumale, T. brumale var. moschatum, T. dryophilum,

T. excavatum, T. foetidum, T. fulgens, T. gibbosum,

T. hiemalbum, T. macrosporum, T. maculatum,

T. malenc¸onii, T. magnatum, T. magnatum var. Vittadinii,

T. melanosporum, T. mesentericum, T. oligospermum,

T. panniferum, T. puberulum, T. regianum, T. rufum var. apiculatum, T. rufum fo. ferrugineum, T. rufum

fo. lucidum, T. rufum fo. nitidum and T. rufum var. rufum



H. aromaticus, H. bulliardii, H. decorus, H. hessei,

H. luteus var. luteus, H. luteus var. subfuscus,

H. lycoperdineus, H. olivaceus, H. populetorum,

H. rehsteineri and H. vulgaris


Melanogaster ambiguus var. ambiguus, M. broomeanus,

M. tuberiformis, M. umbrinigleba and M. variegatus


Octavianina asterosperma


Rhizopogon vulgaris


Geastrum fimbriatum, G. triplex, Myriostoma coliforme

and Schenella pityophilus


Gautieria graveolens var. graveolens, G. graveolens var.

otthii and G. morchellaeformis


Hysterangium inflatum, H. nephriticum and

H. stoloniferum



Youngiomyces multiplex

2.1.2 Pezizomycotina, Pezizomycetes, Pezizomycetidae, Pezizales, Helvellaceae Fries

Balsamia vulgaris seems able to grow quite commonly in the region under Quercus spp. or in mixed woods (Cerone et al. 1994; Marino et al. 2005; Rana et al. 2011). It has been refound in “Mantenera-Malcanale” mixed wood (Tricarico, MT) in 2014 (Rana et al. unpublished data). B. polysperma Vittad. was so far never found in Basilicata and appears limited to northern Italian regions (Montecchi and Sarasini 2000). C. meandriformis is enough distributed in Basilicata. It was at first found by Cerone et al. under Quercus pubescens Willd. (s.l.) and Fagus sylvatica L. (1994 and 2000) and repeatedly discovered in mixed woods of Tricarico (MT), Abriola and Brindisi di montagna (PZ) in successive years (Rana unpublished data). Findings of Fischerula macrospora Mattirolo, a taxon apparently limited to Italy (Montecchi and Sarasini 2000), occurred in territories of Tricarico (MT) in 2006 and Abriola (PZ) in 2011 (Rana et al. 2008, 2011) under Q. pubescens (s.l.) and F. sylvatica, respectively. Picoa carthusiana Tul. & C. Tul. [¼ Leucangium carthusianum (Tul. &

C. Tul.) Paol.] and P. lefebvrei (Pat.) Maire were both only once reported in the communal mixed wood of Tricarico (PZ) (Rana et al. 2008, 2010).

2.1.3 Pezizomycotina, Pezizomycetes, Pezizomycetidae, Pezizales, Pezizaceae Dumortier

The hypogeous fungus genera naturally growing in Basilicata and belonging to this family are Pachyphloeus Tul. & C. Tul. and Sarcosphaera Auersw.

Two species of Pachyphloeus were discovered under oaks in Basilicata in 2002 and 2003, P. citrinus Berk. & Br. and P. ligericus Tul. & C. Tul., respectively (Marino et al. 2005) Another species, Pachyphloeus conglomeratus (Berk. & Br.) Doweld (exsicc. n. 88), has been recently discovered in the region. More in detail, five ascomata were complexively found: two of them under Salix elaeagnos Scop. and Populus alba L. in Roccanova territory (PZ) in October 2013 and the remaining three in the “Montecaruso” mixed wood of Filiano (PZ) in November of the same year. The macroand microscopic features (see Fig. 1a, b, c) of the fungus were very like if not identical to those already described for the Pezizacea (Montecchi and Sarasini 2000). The poisonous Sarcosphaera coronaria var. coronaria (Jacq.)

J. SchrotS. crassa (Santi: Strudel) Pouzar] is quite common under pine woods in

Basilicata (Tagliavini and Tagliavini 2011) at the end of winter or in spring. Its last documented finding occurred under Pinus halepensis Mill. in “ManteneraMalcanale” wood (Tricarico, MT) 4 years ago. DNA extracted from a Lucanian ascoma of the fungus, subjected to PCR with primers ITS4 and ITS5 (White et al. 1990), gave an amplification product of about 562 bp. The same sequence was deposited in EMBL database under accession code FR827862 and matched at 89 % (E ¼ 0) two sequences, DQ200843 and DQ200844, of the same Pezizacea (Rana et al. 2011).

2.1.4 Pezizomycotina, Pezizomycetes, Pezizomycetidae, Pezizales, Pyronemataceae Schr€oter

The hypogeous fungi of this family found in Basilicata belong to genera Genea

Vittad., Geopora Harkn., Hydnocystis Tul. & C. Tul. and Stephensia Tul. & C. Tul.

Fig. 1 Gleba cross section (a), pseudoparenchymatic structure of peridium (b), asci and spores (c) of a Lucanian ascoma of Pachyphloeus conglomeratus. Bars: (a) 15 mm, (b) 10 μm and (c) 20 μm

Findings of Genea species present in Basilicata are reported by Cerone et al. (2000) and Marino et al. (2002) for G. verrucosa Vittad. and G. lespiaultii Corda, Marino et al. (2005) for G. fragrans (Wallroth) Paol. and G. hispidula Berk. & Br. and, finally, Rana et al. (2011, unpublished data) for G. sphaerica Tul. & C. Tul. And G. papillosa Vittad., the last of which is thought to be a bay-brown form of G. verrucosa (Montecchi and Sarasini 2000).

Two species of Geopora, G. sumneriana (Cooke) Kers and G. clausa (Tul. &

C. Tul.) Burds., and one of Stephensia (Tul. & C. Tul.), S. bombycina (Vittad.) Tul., result in inhabitation of some areas of the region. Tagliavini and Tagliavini (2011), about the first species of Geopora, wrote that “it is rare but abundant in the sites where it grows”. G. clausa (Tul. & C. Tul.) Burds. [¼ Hydnocystis clausa (Tul. &

C. Tul.) Ceruti] is present in Bernalda (MT) area and exactly in the “Biogenetic Natural Reserve of Metapontum and Marinella—Stornara” (BNR) (Rana et al. 2011). Hydnocystis piligera Tul. & C. Tul., that has been reported in the extended Apulian portion (1,456 ha) of BNR, was so far never encountered in Basilicata.

Finally, S. bombycina (Vittad.) Tul. & C. Tul. was firstly reported under Quercus cerris L. in Corleto Perticara (PZ) territory in 2006 (Rana et al. 2010) and subsequently refound for two–three times in Filiano (Rana et al. 2011) and Rionero in Vulture (PZ) territories (Rana et al. unpublished data).

2.1.5 Pezizomycotina, Pezizomycetes, Pezizomycetidae, Pezizales, Terfeziaceae Fischer

The species of Terfezia Tul. & C. Tul. so far found in Basilicata are T. arenaria (Moris) Trappe (¼ T. leonis Tul. & C. Tul), sniffed by a well-trained Lagotto dog under Quercus spp. in the inland Lucan territory of Brindisi di montagna town (PZ) in June 2013 (Rana et al. unpublished data), and T. olbiensis Tul & C. Tul. which grew close to P. halepensis and Cistus salvifolius L. in the before mentioned “Mantenera-Malcanale” wood.

It is conceivable to hypothesize that two other Terfezia species,

i.e. T. leptoderma Tul. and T. boudieri Chatin, present in the close region Apulia, the first, between Torre dell' Orso and Melendugno towns (LE) and, the second, in the Apulian BNR surface (Rana et al. 2010), could also grow in the Lucanian part (45 ha) of the same reserve.

2.1.6 Pezizomycotina, Pezizomycetes, Pezizomycetidae, Pezizales, Tuberaceae Dumortier

Tuber aestivum and T. aestivum fo. uncinatum are the most common black truffles of Basilicata; their natural beds are located in broad-leaved and coniferous woods of 93 and 37 Lucanian communes, respectively (Bollettino Ufficiale Regione BasilicataBURBas 2004). Prudential estimates indicate that a single professional truffle hunter can pick up two–three q/year of their ascomata. Both truffles can be successfully cultivated in the region and ascomata weighting 400–700 g are not rarely produced. In nature, an exceptional Lucanian ascoma weighting 1,006 g was collected under oaks in Rieti (PZ) area during October 2006 (Rana and Marino 2007).

The other truffles, which are marketable according to the national and regional laws n. 752 of June 20th 1985 and n. 35 of March 27th 1995, are, in decreasing order for quantity and economical importance, T. borchii Vittad. (including all truffl of

T. puberulum Berk. et Br. group as well as T. gibbosum Harkness), T. magnatum

Pico, T. brumale Vittad. and its fo. moschatum (Ferry) Montecchi & Lazzari,

T. macrosporum Vittad., T. bellonae Que´l., T. hiemalbum Chatin, T. melanosporum Vittad. and T. mesentericum Vittad. (complex species which probably comprehends more than three taxa) (Leonardi et al., manuscript sent to Fungal Biology). The last Tuber species and, more specifi lly T. mesentericum (s. s.), although abundant in beech wood of Basilicata at 1,000–1,300 m a.s.l. and appreciated in Campania, is scarcely used in kitchen in the Lucanian region. T. borchi grows either in coastal pine woods or under oaks on the Basilicata mountains in more than 20 natural sites (BURBas 2004).

The tasty T. melanosporum was found growing in small natural beds of Fardella, Marsicovetere, Muro Lucano, Teana and Rotonda (PZ) (BUR-Bas 2004).

The precious T. magnatum grows in loamy-sandy, calcareous soil along the banks of more or less large torrents and streams located between Agri and Sinni rivers as well as along Basentum in territories of about 20 Lucanian towns (BURBas 2004). Cerone et al. (2002) described the ecological characteristics of a natural bed of this Tuber species existing in Chiaromonte (PZ) territory where Populus canescens (Aiton.) Sm. predominantly grows. A realized niche of the species, located in upper Sinni river area, was recently studied using GIS, direct in situ survey and genetic diversity at DNA marker loci (Figliuolo et al. 2013).

Furthermore, 89 ascomata of T. aestivum, T. borchii, T. brumale, T. magnatum and T. mesentericum from 41 different Basilicata sites were object of a biodiversity study (Pomarico et al. 2007) employing molecular tools.

T. macrosporum grows in limited areas of oak and beech woods in a few communal territories of the region (Marino et al. 2002; BURBas 2004; Rana unpublished data).

Among the numerous unmarketable Lucanian truffles, T. excavatum Vittad. and

T. rufum var. rufum are very abundant; T. malenc¸onii Donadini, Riousset et Chevalier is, on the contrary, very rare (Rana et al. 2013a) whereas T. regianum Montecchi and Lazzari, T. maculatum Vittad., T. foetidum Vittad., and

T. dryophylum Tul. et C. Tul. can be rarely encountered (Rana et al. 2011, 2013a, unpublished data).

Tuber gibbosum Harkness was only found under Pseudotsuga menziesii

(Mirbel.) Franco in territories of Abriola, Campomaggiore and Teana (PZ),

T. oligospermum (Tul. & C. Tul.) Trappe and T. asa-foetida Tul. & C. Tul. in pine woods of the Lucanian Jonian coast (Marino et al. 2003) and T. panniferum under Q. ilex L. in Tursi and Marsicovetere areas (Cerone et al. 2000) and, on July 9th, 2012 and June 22th, 2014, in Calciano (MT) area and in the “ManteneraMalcanale” mixed wood, respectively (Rana et al. unpublished data).

Finally, Reddellomyces donkii (Malenc¸on) Trappe was found in the BNR surface of Basilicata under P. halepensis in 2007 and 2008 (Rana et al. 2010).

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