Belated Greetings

Greetings BIOL190 students, my name is Cuyler Bleecker (my first name is William but I go by my middle name Cuyler) and I’ll be helping Steffi with grading for the class. Apologies for the late post, I am doing my best to get caught up with the class after a delayed start.

I’m back in Fairbanks this summer, hoping to finish up lab work for a collaborative independent research project at the UA Museum of the North herbarium (ALA). The project involves documenting the presence of bryophilous fungi on specimens of the liverwort genus Gymnomitrion. Bryophilous fungi are fungi that are parasites and/or epiphytes (plants (or in this case, fungi) that grow on other plants) on bryophytes. Bryophytes (sensu lato – in the broad sense of the word) are “non-vascular” plants belonging one of three taxonomic Divisions: the mosses (Division Bryophyta, or Bryophyta sensu stricto, in the strict sense), liverworts (Division Marchantiophyta) and hornworts (Division Anthocerotophyta). Below is a micrograph of one of the early finds from the project – the tiny bryophilous ascomycete Briochiton microscopicus. The brown spheroidal looking thing is the fruiting body of the fungus which is cracked open and the minute, translucent lemon-shaped spores can be seen spilling out. This little chap was found growing on a leaf of a specimen of Gymnomitrion apiculatum from Alaska housed in our herbarium (ALA).

Hope you have been enjoying the class so far, excited to see everyone’s work! Best, Cuyler

One comment

  1. Welcome Cuyler, always great fun to see your work! I hope you are finding lots more of these amazing fungi growing on the moss specimens in the herbarium. BTW, Cuyler just had his first paper on this work accepted in the Journal of Bryology entitled: Utilising bryophyte herbarium material as a source of fungal novelty: a case study presenting new records of Bryobroma gymnomitrii (Döbbeler) Döbbeler on Gymnomitrion Corda in Britain and North America! Congrats!

    Below an image of Gymnomitrion apiculatum (Schiffn.) Müll. Frib. by Tuomo Kuitunen.

Comments are closed.