Date of Award

Spring 1956

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Of those organisms upon the face of the earth displaying a wide range of variability, excellent examples may be found amoung certain groups of the fungi. This extreme variation as noted in certain fungal groups becomes even more interesting when the phenomenon of sexuality is eliminated or of rare occur­rence as in many of the Fungi Imperfecti. Such extreme varia­tions occur in Allescheria Boydii, whose historical background is as interesting as the growth of the fungus itself.

In 1909 Tarozzi (46)isolated a fungus organism as the causative agent in a Sardinian case of mycetoma. Tarozzi referred this fungus to Saccardo, who in 1911 described and named theorganism Monosporium apiospermum Saccardo, and assigned it to the type class Fungi Imperfecti .

In 1921 Boyd and Crutchfield isolated a fungus from a case of human mycetoma and found the causative organism an Asco­mycete. This organism was studied by Shear in 1922, and was described as a new species of Allescheria. Shear named this fungus Allescheria Boydii Shear.

In 1935 a native of Kansas developed a fungal infection of his foot as a result of laceration by a wagon 'Wheel. The etiologic agent was isolated by Shaw and Macgregor, and identified as Monosporium apiospermum Saccardo . A subculture of this same fungus was sent by Dr. Shaw to Dr. Emmons. In 1944 Emmons discovered that this strain of M .apiospermum was producing ascocarps similar to those described for Allescheria Boydii. Emmons concluded from these observations that A. Boydii Shear is the perfect phase in the life history of the imperfect Monosporium apiospermum Saccardo. It is interesting to note, however, that this relation­ship between Allescheria Boydii and Monosporium apiospermum had been previously suspected by Catanei and Goinard.

From a review of the literature it is evident that informa­ tion pertaining to the development of Allescheria Boydii is frag­ mentary, and therefore insufficient for an understanding of its life history. Accordingly, a study of this organism was undertaken to provide a more complete understanding of its development

Included in

Biology Commons