New Fungus Species "Trichoglossum syamviswanathii" Discovered in Kerala

  • 10 Feb 2024

A team of scientists from the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI), Botanical Survey of India, and the University of Hyderabad have recently identified a new fungus species, named Trichoglossum syamviswanathii, found thriving in the moist soil of Kerala's Western Ghats.

Key Points

  • Discovery and Naming: Researchers discovered the new fungus species, Trichoglossum syamviswanathii, in the Bambusetum of the KFRI Field Research Centre, Palappilly, Thrissur.
  • It is named after renowned scientist Syam Viswanath, former director of KFRI, in recognition of his contributions to forestry in India.
  • Characteristics: Trichoglossum syamviswanathii belongs to the family Geoglossaceae (Ascomycota) and exhibits distinctive features typical of the Trichoglossum genus.
  • These "hairy earth tongues" fungi are characterized by club-shaped apothecia in dark shades of black or brown.
  • Ecological Role: The discovery underscores the rich fungal diversity of the Western Ghats region, highlighting the importance of ongoing exploration and research.
  • Trichoglossum species, including the newly discovered Trichoglossum syamviswanathii, play a crucial role in decomposing organic matter and recycling nutrients in forest ecosystems.
  • Global Distribution: While the Trichoglossum genus is globally distributed in tropical and temperate forests across five continents, the diversity of Trichoglossum species in India is not well-represented.