Science and Technology News

Phallus drewesii – a new fungus from Vietnam and Asia

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Plant researchers from the Southern Institute of Ecology under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology found Dreswe fungus (scientific name is Phallus drewesii Desjardin & B.A. Perry) in a moist evergreen forest in Yang Ly region, Bidoup – Nui Ba National Park, at the altitude of about 1,700 metres. This is the first time scientists recorded the presence of this species in Vietnam and Asia.

The research is in the framework of the project to establish a 25 ha sample plot to study position at Bidoup – Nui Ba National Park, Lam Dong province (sign TN3/T09) under the Central Highlands Programme 3. The specimens are being kept at the SGN/ SIE Collection.

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Drewes fungus (Phallus drewesii) at Bidoup – Nui Ba National Park (Photo by Nguyen Thanh Thao)

The project sample plot in the evergreen forest at Bidoup – Nui Ba National Park aims to make foundations for deep, long-term research about biological diversity, ecology, and the forest ecosystem. Since then, researchers have conducted long-term and reliable large scale observation activities allowing comparative research and cooperation with leading similar studies in the world, as well as following the effects of climate changes on biodiversity and ecosystem in the Central Highlands. The project also aims to provide scientific foundation for preservation and promotion of several plant types in the special forest which have an important role in the Central Highlands.

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Bidoup – Nui Ba National Park, the 25ha position sample plot of TN3-09 project (Photo by Vu Ngoc Long)

Phallus drewesii Desjardin fungus was recognized first in 2009 in the 25ha position sample plot. So far, it had only been found in the African island of São Tomé. In Vietnam, according to documents of Professor Trinh Tam Kiet, Phallus genus included four species, including P. aurantiacus, P. indusiatus, P. multicolor and P. rubicundus. As a result, the recognition in Bidoup – Nui Ba National Park is the first important discovery about the distribution of this species in Asia and is the fifth species of Phallus genus described in Vietnam.

The morphological characteristics of the species are described as following: unexpanded fruit with brown yellow round and next round shape, 0.3-1.5 cm high x 0.3-0.8 cm diam. Expanded fruit will have up to 7 cm high, surface deeply reticulate, light yellow when it is fresh and yellow when it is dried. Basidiospores is brown and has a smell attracting insects. Spore has thin-oval shape with smooth surface.

The species was found on rotten wood and rarely found. Official information is announced at http://mycosphere.org/pdfs/MC4_5_No12.pdf

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Director of the Central Highland 3 Programme surveyed 25 ha position sample plot (Photo by Vu Ngoc Long)

Translated by Tuyet Nhung

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