Notes on the basidium
The terminology of the basidium became complicated when Neuhoff (1924: 256) introduced the term epibasidium for various extensions (exclusive of sterigma-tips) from basidia. Such diverse organs as (i) extensions from probasidia, like the four-celled body producing the sterigmata in Auricularia Bull, ex Mérat, and (ii) extensions from metabasidia, like the sterigmata (minus tips) of Tremella Fr. and Tulasnella J. Schroet., all became epibasidia. Neuhoff’s views were enthusiastically defended by Rogers (1934), then a pupil of Dr G.W. Martin, and they have been upheld by Martin himself (1938) and other mycologists of his school, which concerns itself particularly with the Heterobasidiae. Neuhoff’s terminology has been rejected or criticized by various authors: Donk (1931: 78—81; 1954; 1956: 366), Linder (1940), and Talbot (1954: 249—263). They all rejected the term epibasidium. Recently Martin (1957: 27) concedes that it “has in some instances been incorrectly applied”, and restricts it, presumably, to strongly developed sterigmata minus their tips, that is, to category (ii). This removes one of the principal issues of divergence in opinion between Martin’s conception on the one hand and Talbot’s and Donk’s on the other. For the organs of category (i) originally included under the term epibasidium, Martin emends Donk’s term metabasidium, thus restricting it to metabasidia that arise from probasidia that remain morphologically distinct. A few questions remain to be considered.
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Donk, M.A. (1958). Notes on the basidium. Blumea. Supplement, 4(1), 96–105.