Biosci. Biotech. Res. Comm. 8(2): 145-148 (2015)

A few wood decaying fungi of Gautala wildlife sanctuary, Maharashtra, India

Gavhane B.U.1*, Ashfaque M. Khan2* and Sahera Nasreen3

1Department of Botany, Kohinoor Arts, Commerce and Science College, Khuldabad, India

2Department of Botany, Maulana Azad College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Aurangabad, India 3Department of Botany, Government Institute of Science, Aurangabad, India


Wood decaying fungi are often seen during rainy season in the forest area of Gautala wildlife sanctuary. Since wood decomposition is a decisive process in nutrient recycling, soil formation and the carbon budget of forest ecosystems, it is receiving increasing attention from forest ecologists, pathologists and managers. After few showers from July 2014 to September 2014, studies were carried on some wood decaying macro fungi belonging to Basidiomycotina in the forest area of Gautala wildlife sanctuary. Commonly available macrofungi included ‘honey’ or ‘foot lace’ fungus which forms basidiocarps in clusters on the roots of trees Armillaria, the ear fungus Auricularia, cylindrical or club shaped Clavaria, jelly-like or waxy, often bright-yellow or orange, smooth or wrinkled basidiocarps growing on dead wood Dacrymyces, Ganoderma, The white or pigmented large fruit body fungi familiar in most of the world Pleurotus, fruiting body bracket-like or shelf like which are annual and produce spores only one season causing wood decay in several forest trees Polypores, leathery, corky, or woody fungus Stereum, Saprobic on tree trunks or decaying logs Tremella and well known as paddy straw mushroom for its commercial production for food in the countries such as Philippines and Southeast Asia Volvariella.



Basidiomycotina group comprises largely of !eshy fungi which include toadstools, bracket fungi, fairy clubs, puff balls, stinkhorns, earthstars, bird’s nest fungi and jelly fungi. They live as saprophytes however some are


*Corresponding Author: Received 12th October, 2015

Accepted after revision 28th November, 2015 BBRC Print ISSN: 0974-6455

Online ISSN: 2321-4007 NAAS Journal Score : 3.48

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serious agents of wood decay. Some toadstools which are associated with trees form mycorrhiza, a symbiotic association (Harley, 1969) while others are severe para- sites, e.g. Armillaria mellea which destroys a wide range of woody and herbaceous plants. They predominantly occur during the rainy season. Among fungi, Basidio-


Gavhane B.U., Ashfaque M. Khan and Sahera Nasreen

mycetes in particular have attracted considerable atten- tion as a source of new and novel metabolites with anti- biotic, antiviral, phytotoxic and cytistatic activity. The knowledge of biodiversity at the community and species level is more important for monitoring the effectiveness and effects of natural and arti"cial disturbances (Pack- ham et al., 2002).

Only a fraction of total fungal wealth has been sub- jected to scienti"c scrutiny and mycologists continue to unravel the unexplored and hidden wealth. One third of fungal diversity of the globe exists in India and of this only 50 % are characterized until now (Manohara- chary et. al, 2005). The presence or absence of fungal species is a useful indicator to assess the damage or the maturity of an ecosystem. Data on their diversity in different vegetation types is important for planning and managing ecosystem biodiversity (Engola et al., 2007). Studies on the diversity of edible, non edible and medicinal mushrooms of Amravati & Melghat regions from Maharashtra were carried out by G. B. Hedawoo (Hedawoo, 2010).

In recent a structural and biological study of a het- eropolysaccharide from aqueous extract of an edible mushroom, P. ostreatus has also been conducted which revealed that the heteroglycan stimulates macrophages, splenocytes, and thymocytes (Maity et al. 2011). The antibacterial and antifungal activity of methanol and aqueous extract of fruit bodies from mushrooms was tested against "ve bacterial pathogens and "ve fungal strains. The fruit body of extract showed potential anti- bacterial activities against the selected strains whereas aqueous extract showed maximum inhibition zone (Balakumar et al., 2011). Ethyl acetate extract of four different edible mushrooms were investigated for their antimicrobial activity against some pathogenic microbes (Surekha et al., 2011).

Among them, only A. bisporus and P. ostreatus showed effective inhibition zone against all patho- genic strains. Recently, a survey has been conducted on indigenous knowledge of ethnic tribes from Similipal Biosphere Reserve, Odisha for utilization of wild mush- rooms as food and medicine. All these studied mush- rooms are used by several tribal’s living in the Similipal forest for their food as well as herbal medicinal pur- poses to cure malnutrition, weakness, other nutritional disorder like diarrhea, high blood pressure, fever, asthma among others (Sachan et al., 2013). Several mushrooms are known to be the sources of various bioactive sub- stances like antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antipara- sitic, anti-oxidant, anti-in!ammatory, antiproliferative, anticancer, antitumour, cytotoxic, anti-HIV, hypocholes- terolemic, anti-diabetic, anticoagulant, hepatoprotective among others (Hrudayanath and Sameer, 2014).

The purpose of present study was to identify wood decaying macrofungi in Gautala wildlife sanctuary and to bring awareness about their presence and diversity among this region. Many macrofungi from this region still remain unreported and their nutritional as well as health bene"ts are unknown to us. If discovered, some of them may have high nutritional value and serve as valuable sources of bioactive compounds.


The study area included scrub jungles and dry deciduous forest along the road side in Gautala wildlife sanctuary. It is protected area that lies in Kannad taluka, Auranga- bad district of Satmala and Ajantha hill ranges of West- erns ghats in Maharashtra state, INDIA. It covers a total area of 26,067.19 ha with reserved forest areas of 19,706 ha. It is positioned at 20.2700° N latitude and 75.1300° E longitude. The average rainfall of Aurangabad district is 734 mm, and the temperature range is about 360 C

300 C during rainy season. Relative humidity ranges from 73% to 80% during rainy season. Different spe- cies exhibit different fruiting phenologies, which vary from month to month and at different altitudes and regions. Thus a particular species may fruit at differ- ent seasons across wide geographic distances or long elevation gradient. Sampling was done using quadrant method each measuring 20 × 20 m. The collections of the macrofungi were made (Largent, 1977) during July 2014 to September 2014. Field characters such as habit, habitat, colour and size of the pileus, stipe and lamellae, presence or absence of annulus etc., were noted from the fresh material, spore-print was obtained and photo- graphs were taken in its natural habitat. The specimens were dried in hot air over at 40-50°C and stored in air tight containers with some naphthalene balls for further microscopic studies.


1.Armillaria sp. (Fig. 1-a) Pegler DN. (2000)

It is fairly large and !eshy fungi frequently growing on wood. Commonly known as ‘Honey’ or ‘foot lace’ fungus it forms basidiocarps in clusters on the roots of trees. This species has a worldwide distribution and is one of the commonest fungi in both temperate and tropical regions. It is edible and is also a serious para- site of woody plants, including forest trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, orchard trees, small fruits and vegeta- ble bushes, shrubs and other economically important plantation crops such as rubber and tea.

Gavhane B.U., Ashfaque M. Khan and Sahera Nasreen

FIGURE 1: a, Armillaria sp. b, Auricularia sp. c, Clavaria sp. d, Dacrymyces sp. e, Ganoderma sp. f, Pleurotus sp. g, Stereum sp. h, Polyporus sp. i, Tremella sp. j, Volvariella sp.

2.Auricularia sp. (Fig. 1-b) Mohanan C. (2011)

The genus Auricularia is known as the ear fun- gus because of the resemblance of its basidiocarp to a human ear. A basidiocarp of Auricularia in section shows a hairy upper surface, a central gelatinous layer and a broad hymenium on the lower side.

3.Clavaria sp. (Coral fungi) (Fig. 1-c) Olariaga et al.(2015)

Clavaria sp. grow on shady lawns with erect, !eshy, cylindrical or clubshaped, branched fructi"ca- tions. The tramal hyphae are thin – walled, without clamp connections and may become in!ated.

4.Dacrymyces sp. (Fig. 1-d) Kirk et al.(2008)

These are saprobic and lignicolous which produce jelly-like or waxy, often bright-yellow or orange,

smooth or wrinkled basidiocarps growing on dead wood. The yellow or orange colour of the basidiocarp is due to the presence of a mixture of carotenoids (Goldstrohm and Lilly, 1965)

5. Ganoderma sp. (Fig. 1-e) Kirk et al.(2008)

The fruit bodies of this genus are either sessile or stipitate, the upper surface of the pileus being shiny as if varnished due to the presence of an amorphous waxy substance secreted by the hyphae. The fruit body was 10-30 cm in diameter. The upper surface lumpy and with concentric zones, smooth, dull red- brown or often cocoa colored.

6.Pleurotus sp. (Fig. 1-f) Pegler, (1977)

The white or pigmented large fruit bodies of these fungi are a familier sight in most of the world. White

Gavhane B.U., Ashfaque M. Khan and Sahera Nasreen

oyster shell like caps appears on logs or tree stumps in shelf like layer. The stipe generally excentric and pileus resupinate. It is edible and used in soups.

7. Stereum sp. (Fig. 1-h) Kirk et al.(2008)

It is common wood decaying fungi. The basidi- ocarps are resupinate, effused re!exed, or even stalked and pileate. Basidiocarps are leathery, corky, or woody. The hymenium is very smooth to the naked eye.

8.Polyporus sp. (Fig. 1-g) Gilbertson and Ryvarden, (1986)

The genus is characterized by numerous "ne pores on the under surface of the pileus. The fruit body are bracket-like or shelf like which are annual and pro- duce spores only one season. It causes wood decay in several forest trees.

9.Tremella sp. (Fig. 1-i) Pippola and Kotiranta. (2008)

Saprobic on tree trunks or decaying logs. Fruiting bodies may be cushioned shaped or convoluted and gelatinous. It consists of leaf like folds having the hymenium on both the faces.

10.Volvariella sp. (Fig. 1-j) Kirk et al. (2008)

It is well known as paddy straw mushroom for its commercial production for food in the countries such as Philippines and Southeast Asia. It is recognized by its pink spores, free gills, and a stipe which bear no annulus but is enclosed at the base by cup – shaped persistant volva. Cap !eshy, circular with central stipe, white or pigmented, gills always free, forming ring around the stipe.


There are references to the use of mushrooms as food and medicine in India in the ancient medical treatise. Mushroom diversity in Gautala wildlife sanctuary need to be explored for its nutritional potential, proximate composition for protein, lipids, fats, carbohydrates, vitamin and amino acid contents. It will help to know medicinal potential of mushroom in antioxidant proper- ties, antimicrobial properties, anti-in!ammatory prop- erty and antitumor properties. Besides it will also give us idea about ethnomycological knowledge of ethnic tribes in this region.


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