You must have wondered that there was no reply to your kind letter of Aug. 13th other than the note from my secretary. She
has only recently sent on your letter along with a batch of other mail.
It was considerate of you to bother sending me some Nidulariaceae from your garden. Apparently the specimens are still in
Bloomington. Someone in the department thought you had Crucibulum vulgare. Of the three or four component types in N.A. -
- the following would enable you to decide which you had:
Crucibulum vulgare : cups some shade of ochre yellow, low, massive. Peridioles very light yellow or whitish, attached by
a slender but obvious funiculus.
Cyathus olla : Cups grey or wood brown; at mouth flaring widely ; not markedly woolly.
Peridioles greyish, large, flattened attached by short stout funiculus. Cups often attached to wood by rhizomorphs.
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Cyathus striatus : cups warm brown, internally strongly fluted. Base of cups attached to ball of mycelium.
Cyathus stercoreus : cups brown or grey or pale faun, woolly externally, internally smooth. Peridioles shining black.
My interest in these fungi has now become so many sided that I am always
anxious to see more material and, as I have none from Wisconsin, I am glad
to receive yours. Cyathus olla and C. striatus from your area would be most
To refer to my work on the "Nids" as genetics is, perhaps, rather liberal.
If one were choosing an object for real genetics, one would try to get something
in which it would be possible to isolate tetrads. This cannot be done with our fungi as the spores are all mixed up in the
peridiole before they are mature. So we have to take them as they are. To culture many of the species with the major idea
of trying to settle taxonomic problems by means other than the usual herbarium approach is what I am really trying to do.
In addition, of course, the business of unilateral nuclear migration has turned up.
At present I am working with Gregory at Rothamsted trying to solve
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some of the problems of spore dispersal using his famous wind tunnel.
When next I write to the Department, I shall ask my assistant to send you a
set of my reprints.
Please give my kind regards to Dr. Huskins when you see him.