Czech Mycology 50(1): 63–70             Article published: 29th September, 1997 doi: 10.33585/cmy.50107


Close encounters with Clathrus ruber, the latticed stinkhorn.

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Considerable variation in the height of the carpophores of Clathrus ruber Mich.: Pers. was observed, ranging from a mere 8 cm for Spanish and French collections to more than 20cm among the Clathri growing in a park at Ouchy (Lausanne) on Lake Geneva. Chemical investigation of collections from that site confirmed that C. ruber accumulates manganese, just as other stinkhorns do. In all probability, this metal plays a role in the biochemistry of the fungus, notably in the enzymatic liquefaction of the gleba with simultaneous formation of odorous compounds. Clathrus eggs were subjected to multi-element analysis in which the gelatinous outer layer, the embryonal receptaculum and - gleba were separately investigated. The gelatinous layer proved most rich in potassium, calcium, manganese and iron. Calcium undoubtedly stabilizes the polysaccharide gel protecting the embryonal carpophore from drying out during the growth of the egg. The superior concentrations of the other elements (comparedtothose in the developing carpophore) suggest a placenta-like function of the gelatinous layer. The significance of the various elements in the biology of the Clathrus is briefly discussed.

Keywords:     Clathrus ruber, multi-element analysis

Full citation:

Stijve T. (1997): Close encounters with Clathrus ruber, the latticed stinkhorn. – Czech Mycology 50(1): 63–70. copy to clipboard

doi: 10.33585/cmy.50107

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