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Danny’s DNA Discoveries – gastroid Boletales of the PNW
by Danny Miller

Click here for my Pictorial Key to all gastroid fungi


This page does not include gastroids and false truffles found in the gilled bolete families, those are found on that page. It also does not include gastroids and false truffles found in the Boletaceae or Suillaceae, those are found on that page.

Astreaus - earth stars that are hygroscopic (open, then maybe close in dry weather and re-open again in wet weather) and sometime have a checkered pattern on the inside of the rays. Most earth stars are in the Geastrales.

Scleroderma - the earth balls, with thick rinds and gleba that turns to dark purple-black powder.

Pisolithus - a closely related earth ball that has hundreds of seed like structures inside a vinaceous-brownish-black sticky substance

Rhizopogon - the classic underground false truffle, with spongy interior that turns olive green.

Sclerogaster - a rare, somewhat nondescript false truffle, this will be dealt with at a later date.

abundant common uncommon rare - colour codes match my Pictorial Key and are my opinions and probably reflect my bias of living in W WA. Rare species may be locally common in certain places at certain times.

Click here to download the FASTA data of all my DNA sequences

Summary of Interesting Results

Here are some of the newest, most interesting results of the study:

  • TBD

Astraus - click to expand

Species mentioned: Astraeus pteridis, hygrometricus, smithii

Scleroderma and Pisolithus - click to expand

Although the spore mass is white when immature, you'll hardly ever find one that young. Almost immediately they will start turning purplish-black inside, and at that point, at least, they are poisonous.

Species mentioned: Scleroderma albidum, areolatum, bovista, cepa, citrinum, floridanum, hypogaeum, laeve, meridionale, polyrhizum, verrucosum.

Rhizopogon and Sclerogaster - click to expand

Rhizopogon - There are over 125 very similar looking Rhizopogon species reported from the PNW... SO FAR. Dealing with this genus is beyond the scope of this site.

Sclerogaster pacificus OR - features include a nearly spherical, dirty white fruitbody with a peridium that tends to disappear, a spore mass that is firm and finally friable, colored ochraceous buff, the cavities polyhedral and filled with spores, a sterile base present but columella not seen, and microscopic characters including round spores 7-8 um in diameter with very large verrucae, 9-10 per great circle. No DNA yet, so I can't guarantee we have the genus correct.


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