Vuilleminia comedens VcCUCC2015_SSI3 v1.0
The crust fungus Vuilleminia comedens (Nees) Maire. Specimen photographed in Bovec basin, East Julian Alps, Posocje, Slovenia. <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
The crust fungus Vuilleminia comedens (Nees) Maire. Specimen photographed in Bovec basin, East Julian Alps, Posocje, Slovenia. CC BY-SA 3.0

Vuilleminia comedens (Nees) Maire is a Basidiomycete in the family Corticiaceae. V. comedens forms a resupinate fruit body in firm or gelatinous patches, ranging from 1-15 cm in size, and is commonly known as 'waxy crust'. These fruit bodies vary from pale grey/beige to lilac coloured, with white spores. V. comedens exhibits a white rot decay form on deciduous trees, most commonly on beech (Fagus sylvatica), and is distributed across Europe. It is primarily associated with decay of dead attached or fallen branches characterised by broad fluctuations in water potential, oxygen availability and temperature that are tolerated by the fungus. As a primary decay species, V. comedens is ecologically important in initiating the decomposition process; propagules of the fungus have been detected in living branches of several tree species, and its mycelia have been isolated from branches in the earliest stages of decay. V. comedens has a low combative ability relative to other wood decay fungi, making it unable to defend territory from later stage colonisers of beech. However, it is more combative than certain other primary colonisers, being capable, for example, of capturing territory from xylariaceous ascomyete competitors. No pathogenic role has been suggested for V. comedens. The genome of V. comedens will increase our knowledge of the mechanisms underpinning decomposition chemistry and strategies of primary decay species, and help to determine processes involved in primary decayer community development and potential priority effects influencing subsequent decay community succession.