V Kaviyarasan

V Kaviyarasan

University of Madras, India

Title: Agaric diversity of south India- An inventory of indigenous mushrooms


"Dr. V Kaviyarasan received his Ph.D and is working on mushroom biodiversity for the past two decades under the guidance of Prof. K Natarajan, a pioneer worker on south Indian mushrooms. He is a faculty in the Centre of Advanced studies in Botany, University of Madras at Chennai, India. Currently he is working on the agaric biodiversity of Eastern Ghats. Recently many mushrooms were documented for their medicinal, nutritional and degradative potential. He served as Vice-President of the Mycological Society of India during the period of 2010-11."


"The number of mushrooms on the earth was estimated around 140,000 of which only 10% are known (Wasser, 2002; Lindequist et al., 2005). Tropics are considered as rich repositories of mushroom diversity and most of the new mushrooms reported in recent years are from tropics, especially those species forming ectomycorrhizas with native trees (Hawksworth, 2001). In various tropical areas, 22–55% of mushroom species have proved to be undescribed (Hawksworth, 2001; Wasser, 2002). India is one such tropical country with diverse ecological characteristics for species richness. Considering the large area of the country and different vegetation types, this species number is accountable. Further, a large agaric flora from different parts of the country is yet to be described. The larger fungi which consist of the order Agaricales and Boletales have about 10,400 species out of the 80,060 species of fungi reported so far. In India, the survey of literature indicates a total number of 1,160 species are only described in these 2 orders viz., Agaricales and Boletales until now (Manjula, 1983; Lakhanpal 1995, Atri, 2012 Natarajan et al., 2005, Kumar and Kaviyarasan 2011). A serious study on the order Agaricales was taken up in this laboratory some three decades back. Fifty five taxa are being described as new to science, eight taxa are being described as new varieties, one hundred and twenty two taxa are earlier reported from various places of Indian subcontinent have also been studied, and fourty three taxa are being reported as potential ectomycorrhizal fungi. Among the above list 58 are known to be edible, 10 are having medicinal properties 31 species are poisonous and the rest are least understood. Recently many new species are being added by our group to the agaric diversity of Eastern Ghats revealing its rich biodiversity"