Researchers from the Faculty of Biology at the University of Warsaw (UW), in collaboration with the Institute of Botany of the Polish Academy of Sciences, have discovered a new species of fungus that was isolated from the cheek pocket of a ant Formica polyctena.
“Most of the fungi isolated were already known species, associated with forest litter environments. However, two slow-growing colonies with dark filaments obtained during the study proved to be distinctly different from other fungal species described so far”, says Igor Siedlecki from the UW Botanical Garden, first author of a paper on the new fungus published in Fungal Biology.
The Polish researchers undertook an analysis of the isolated strains, both to describe their morphology and to establish their phylogenetic position on the tree of life.
The new fungus was named Formicomyces microglobosus, where the first part, the generic name, refers to the isolation of the strains from ants, and the second part, the species name, refers to the small spherical cells found at the ends of the fungus’s stalks.