Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Clitopilus s.l. of the PNW
These genera do not have as strongly angled spores as the rest of the Entoloma family, or the angles are only visible from certain aspects, which makes the angles harder to see under a scope. Sometimes the spore print colour is barely pink at all. Combined, these features can make these species hard to place in the Entolomataceae family (pink angled spores with attached gills). Even Entoloma lumpers do not call these species by the name Entoloma proper. There is little controversy about the names I use on this page. Either you call them all species of Clitopilus (which few people are doing) or you split them into these 5 genera. I do not understand why the Europeans are willing to split these few mushrooms into 5 tiny genera, but they are not willing to split Entoloma like I do, so thousands of species are in the Entoloma genus.
Clitopilus - pink spored oyster mushrooms will either be in this genus, or if the spores are more strongly and obviously angled, in Claudopus. Clitopilus also contains non-oysters. In this genus, the spores that happen to be in polar view (where you are looking at the top or bottom of the spore) will appear angular from ridges along their longitudes. The spores that are laying on their sides may appear smooth without a high quality, powerful lens or electron microscope.
Rhodocybe - the spores in polar view may appear angular from prominent pustules, but not entire longitudinal ridges. This difference may be hard to see without an electron microscope. These species have no clamps.
Rhodophana - similar to Rhodocybe, but with clamps. In the PNW, they are bright orange and strongly farinaceous.
Clitopilopsis - the pustules are more obscure, making the spores often appear smooth even in polar view without a high quality, powerful lens or electron microscope. Spore walls are thickened.
Clitocella - similar to Clitopilopsis, but thin spore walls. None are known from the PNW yet.
Rhodocybe nuciolens spore print © Yi-Min Wang. This pale colour and the subtlety of the angles on the spores makes these species hard to identify.
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:
Clitopilus - click to expand
In the PNW, this genus contains a white clitocyboid species and little white oysters (easily confused with Entoloma s.l. oysters in the genus Claudopus , which are grey or brown and have more strongly angled spores).
Species mentioned: Clitopilus prunulus, cystidiatus, hobsonii, baronii.
Clitopilus prunulus EU - this white to pale grey clitocyboid, with strongly decurrent gills, nicknamed the sweetbread mushroom for its strong farinaceous odor. Most sequences of it seem to be incorrectly labeled Clitopilus cystidiatus, with rare cystidia instead of none, so I used to think that might be the name of our species. But now we have an epitype sequence from Austria, the type area of C. prunulus, that matches our sequences, so that should be the proper name of our species. It is the older of the names as well.
Clitopilus 'baronii PNW01' - a little white oyster found on a decaying polypore. It is 7 bp different in ITS from the EU type sequence, and probably needs a new name. It is not yet known if reports of the lookalike C. hobsonii (see below) were all this species or not. This one was on a different substrate, so we should continue to look for C. hobsonii.
Clitopilus hobsonii UK - a little white oyster that grows on wood. Since this species is almost identical to C. baronii, it should be investigated if it actually occurs here. We do not have local DNA yet and need collections.
Clitopilus 'kamaka PNW02' - this little white oyster species, 3% different in ITS than the NZ species C. kamaka, has very few rudimentary gills, unlike any other known PNW pink spored oyster.
Clitocybe prunulus © Buck McAdoo, C. 'baronii PNW01' © Lauren Ré, C. 'kamaka PNW02' © Connor Dooley
Rhodocybe - click to expand
Brown, grey or orange mushrooms of collybioid or omphalinoid stature. See also Clitopilopsis for a somewhat farinaceous grey, slender, long stemmed choice and Rhodphana for a strongly farinaceous bright orange choice.
Species mentioned: Rhodocybe nuciolens, hondensis, aureicystidiata, dubia, caelata, tugrulii.
Rhodocybe nuciolens WA - pinkish cinnamon to orangish with a somewhat fragrant or nutty odor. Rhodophana are brighter orange with a strong farinaceous odor. We have 4 WA and OR collections, and it is also found in CA under redwoods. They have an additional species under CA redwoods, R. hondensis, that is smaller and more thin fleshed with a darker cap and paler stem, but it is not known from further north yet. We do not have ITS DNA for R. hondensis.
Rhodocybe PNW01 - we don't have a great photo of it yet, but it appears to be an orange-brown species. It was found once in WA and once in OR, and is in a somewhat sister relationship to R. nuciolens.
Rhodocybe nuciolens © Richard Morrison and Jacob Kalichman, R. PNW01 © Buck McAdoo
Rhodocybe 'caelata PNW02' - this little grey species found once in grass in a prairie in WA (it is not as slender nor with as long a stem as Clitopilopsis) appears to be a species complex in Europe, with this species of ours matching one of the possible concepts.
Rhodocybe 'caelata PNW03' - this little grey species found once in a conifer forest in WA seems to be distinct from all of the EU complex members. It is 8% different in ITS from PNW02, for instance.
Rhodocybe 'tugrulii PNW04' - this single WA collection of another little grey species is 4 bp, 1 indel and 3 ambiguous locations different from the Turkish type sequence of R. tugrulii, so it may be distinct.
Rhodocybe 'caelata PNW02' © Sarah Hamman, R. 'caelata PNW03' © Jacob Kalichman (2 images), R. 'tugrulii PNW04' © Buck McAdoo
Rhodocybe aureicystidiata WA - a brown species with a dark brown stem that may stain reddish where bruised. This native species has been sequenced 4 times from WA so far.
Rhodocybe 'dubia PNW05' - a similar brown species with a whitish bloom and slightly decurrent gills, sequenced 4 times from WA. One microscopic workup seemed to match R. dubia, but we don't have sequences of that EU species to know if this is true or not.
Rhodocybe PNW06 - found once in WA, this brown species had a stem that was longer and more slender than the others.
Rhodocybe aureicystidiata © Yi-Min Wang, R. 'dubia PNW05' © Jacob Kalichman (2 images), R. PNW06 © Jacob Kalichman (2 images)
California has additional species, not found yet in the PNW.
Rhodophana - click to expand
Strongly farinaceous bright orange collybioids, probably more brightly coloured and more strongly farinaceous than similar Rhodocybe. Both our species seem at least slightly umbonate.
Species mentioned: Rhodophana nitellina.
Rhodophana 'nitellina PNW01' - we don't have type area EU sequences of R. nitellina yet, but AK, AZ and MX sequences all differ significantly so this seems to be a species complex and I don't think any of our species are the real thing. I also don't yet know how to tell our three genetic species apart. #1 was found twice in WA.
Rhodophana 'nitellina PNW02 - seemingly the more common of our two species. #2 was found 4 times in WA.
Rhodophana 'nitellina PNW03' - found once so far at Breitenbush, OR.
Rhodophana 'nitellina PNW01' © Yi-Min Wang, R. 'nitellina PNW02' © Yi-Min Wang and Steve Trudell, R. 'nitellina PNW03' © Christian Schwarz
Clitopilopsis - click to expand
One slender grey mushroom that may have a long stem, may be convex capped or slightly umbilicate and may have slightly decurrent gills. More collections are needed to learn to differentiate it macroscopically from the several grey Rhodocybe with thinner spore walls.
Species mentioned: Clitopilopsis hirneola.
Clitopilopsis 'hirneola PNW01' - EU type area sequences of C. hirneola can differ by at least 5 bp, with one outlying sequence being significantly different, and our single WA sequence so far differs by between 3 and 8 bp and 5 amiguous locations from them. Either there is variability in ITS or this is a species complex so for now this is getting a species code.
Clitopilopsis 'hirneola PNW01' © NAMA and the Field Museum of Natural History
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