Phylogenetic position and taxonomy of Kusaghiporia usambarensis gen. et sp. nov. (Polyporales)

A large polyporoid mushroom from the West Usambara Mountains in North-eastern Tanzania produces dark brown, up to 60-cm large fruiting bodies that at maturity may weigh more than 10 kg. It has a high rate of mycelial growth and regeneration and was found growing on both dry and green leaves of shrubs; attached to the base of living trees, and it was also observed to degrade dead snakes and insects accidentally coming into contact with it. Phylogenetic analyses based on individual and concatenated data sets of nrLSU, nrSSU and the RPB2 and TEF1 genes showed it, together with Laetiporus, Phaeolus, Pycnoporellus and Wolfiporia, to form a monophyletic group in Polyporales. Based on morphological features and molecular data, it is described as Kusaghiporia usambarensis.