Tremella fuciformis or Snow Fungus - a fungus for Christmas!

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Steve
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Tremella fuciformis or Snow Fungus - a fungus for Christmas!

Post by Steve » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:32 pm

雪耳 (pinyin: xuě ěr; literally "snow ear")
Hi,
My daughter-in–law was recently having someting unusual for breakfast so I asked her what it was. It was “snow fungus” – which is cultivated and eaten in large amounts in China. I took a specimen from the pack and rehydrated it – it is a very beautiful white Tremella. Microscopy was quite difficult as it’s extremely rubbery, so I had to squeeze a tiny piece between two slides before adding a coverslip to the squash. and all I really got was the hyphae and some odd knobbly structures. It didn’t produce spores!
There are a variety of exotic mushrooms which you can get in farmer’s markets or in some supermarkets – always good fun to stick them under the microscope.
Just another of the world’s maybe 5 million fungi species.
http://www.mushroomexpert.com/tremella_fuciformis.html
https://www.mushroomcompany.com/article ... emella.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremella_fuciformis
have a good Christmas :)
Steve
Attachments
1 DSCF9692.JPG
A dried Snow Fungus
DSCF9760.JPG
Rehydrated it's snow-white
3 DSCF9523.JPG
A pack of Snow Fungus
4 DSC_0495stack.JPG
Stacked macro image
5 200estack.jpg
x200 in Congo Red
6 100.jpg
x100 in Methylene Blue

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Chris Yeates
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Re: Tremella fuciformis or Snow Fungus - a fungus for Christmas!

Post by Chris Yeates » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:42 pm

Hi Steve
I wonder if the 'knobbly structures' are dried/contracted basidia; did you try reconstituting it with KOH as well as H2O?
cheers
Chris
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

Ditiola
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Re: Tremella fuciformis or Snow Fungus - a fungus for Christmas!

Post by Ditiola » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:46 pm

Interesting. I have not seen this one in our Chinese supermarket

I have found the best way to look at Jelly fungi is to put a piece of the fungus outer tissue in Lacto- phenol Cotton Blue for a about 60 seconds, then wash it in water a couple of times to remove all excess stain and this leaves the outermost cells (basidia) stained without much staining on the inner tissues so that when the tissue is squashed they stand out as blue basidia in an otherwise unstained squash.

Peter

Steve
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Re: Tremella fuciformis or Snow Fungus - a fungus for Christmas!

Post by Steve » Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:10 am

Hi,
That's useful advice on how to treat these awkward slippery customers. I'll try both the methods on the Jelly Fungi we'll find over the winter.
I tried a few stains - mostly Congo Red and Cotton Blue, trying to make sense of this jelly-crust at Longshaw early this year, which I named thanks to WAB as Helicogloea lagerheimii, from "A Study of the Genus Helicogloea"
Gladys E. Baker
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden
Vol. 23, No. 1 (Feb., 1936), pp. 69-112+114-128
Cheers,
Steve
Attachments
1 Helicogloea lagerheimii .jpg
Helicogloea lagerheimi - field photo
2 Helicogloea lagerheimii.jpg
Helicogloea lagerheimi - studio photo
3 Helicogloea lagerheimii.jpg
Helicogloea lagerheimi - transverse septate basidium
4  Helicogloea lagerheimii.jpg
Helicogloea lagerheimi - spores and basidia
5 Helicogloea lagerheimii .jpg
Helicogloea lagerheimi - using haematoxylin stain
6  Helicogloea lagerheimii.JPG
Diagrams from Baker, 1936

Steve
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Posts: 445
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Location: Sheffield, Yorkshire

Re: Tremella fuciformis or Snow Fungus - a fungus for Christmas!

Post by Steve » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:59 pm

Hi,
I had another go at microscopy on the Snow Fungus. The KOH certainly seems to swell the structures, and I found methylene blue a better stain than cotton blue/lactophenol. But the KOH seemed to make the jelly even harder to squash!
What I think I have are conidia, which I didn't expect in Tremella until I has a good look at Fungi of Switzerland. Snow Fungus also has a yeast-like form acc. lit., so this Jelly is almost as complex in its life-cycle as a rust - to which I think it may be related.
Steve
Attachments
1 600 koh met blueastack.jpg
Tremella fuciformis - conidia?
2 600 koh met blued.jpg
Tremella fuciformis - conidia?
3 600 koh met bluekstack.jpg
Tremella fuciformis - conidia?

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