Mycorrhizal puffball, Pisolithus arhizus

Mycorrhizal puffball, Pisolithus arhizus

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The puffball Pisolithus arhizus at the stage of spore release. P. arhizus ( syn. tinctorius ) is a gasteroid fungus with a wide global distribution. In Europe it is known as the dye ball, due to its former use in the production of a brown dye. In Australia it is known as the horse dung puffball due to its visual appearance. P. arhizus is an ectomycorrhizal fungus with low host specificity, and has been widely used as a mycorrhizal inoculum to encourage the establishment of planted trees, particularly pines. Commercial exploitation of the fungus is hampered by the difficulty of culturing the mycelium in large quantities. The picture shows two fruiting bodies of the horse dung puffball growing in dry sclerophyll eucalyptus woodland in Warrandyte, Victoria, Australia.

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Keywords: australia, biological, biology, botanical, botany, dye ball, ectomycorrhiza, forestry, fruiting body, hose dung puffball, mycorrhiza, mycorrhizal inoculum, pisolithus arhizus, pisolithus tinctorius, puffball, spore, tree planting, victoria, warrandyte

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