On the Origin of the Basidiomycetes

George Massee
1900 Journal of the Linnean Society of London Botany  
THE recent extensive researches by Brefeld (1) have thrown much light on the morphology and affinities of the group of fungi known as the Basidiomycetes, and even those who cannot accept his interpretation as to affinities in its entirety, are doubtless ready to admit that, due in a large measure to his investigations and deductions therefrom, we possess at the present day a clearer and truer conception of the general development or evolution of the group of fungi under consideration than
more » ... deration than heretofore. As ia well known, the gradual differentiation of the speaialized portions of hyphs or basidia immediately bearing conidia, are considered by Brefeld as constituting the one essential factor in indicating true affinity and descent in the Basidiomycetes. Hence in the Protobasidiomycetes, characterized by having basidia divided into two to four superposed cells by transverse septa, each cell producing a conidium, Brefeld sees a counterpart in the promycelium or the fertile hyphs produced directly on spore germination in the Ustilagines, and inclines to the view that the Protobasidiomycetes may be derived from the Ustilaginea through the Uredines, Auricularis, and Pilacreae, when the transversely septate basidium is replaced by a vertically divided basidium iu Tremelles and Dacryomycets j a transition group, leading to the Autobasidiomycetes, including the Gastromycets, Phalloideae, and Hymenomycets, characterized by basidia consisting of a single cell-neither transversely nor vertically septate-and bearing the spores at or near the apex, and usually definite in number. The existence of ueptate basidia, however, is not an entirely recent discovery ; those of Pilacre Petersii, Berk. & Broome, and Hypochnus purpweus, Tul., having been correctly described and beautifully figured by Tulasne (2) twenty-seven years ago. In fact t1.e basidia of the last-named species were first described by Tulasne (3) thirty-four years ago, the description being followed by the paragraph quoted below-the first time we
doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1900.tb01156.x fatcat:rgjmqrcvjfhgvlexo54h5a7buu