Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Stropharia (Protostropharia, Leratiomyces) of the PNW
This portion of the large Hymenogastraceae family (or perhaps it should be called a super-family) are medium to large, usually viscid capped, somewhat colourful mushrooms, found on the ground but saprotrophic. The spore print is usually a cold, dark brown with a hint of purple, and the gill edges are usually white from cystidia. There is often a ring left on the stem from the partial veil. Formerly all called Stropharia, now that has been separated into a few extra genera based on genetics:
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.
Summary of Interesting Results
Here are some of the newest, most interesting results of the study:
Protostropharia - click to expand
Usually yellow-brown, sometimes found on dung, often with a hemispheric cap, slender stature and rooting stem.
Species mentioned: Protostropharia semiglobata, dorsipora, alcis, luteonitens. Stropharia stercoraria, semigloboides, silvatica, umbonatescens.
Protostropharia semiglobata EU - we have enough EU sequences of this that I'm pretty sure we know what it is, and indeed one WA sequence matched it exactly. Stropharia stercoraria EU is currently synonymized with it, and I have no reason to doubt it, but if we can find collections of it here, we could prove that.
Protostropharia dorsipora EU - this species, which differs only by the position of the germ pore on the spore, was not known from the west until Californians spotted it. It differs by only 3 bp from P. semiglobata, but consistently enough that it seems to be a distinct sister species. We have a WA sequence. It is the more common species in CA, but it remains to be seen which is more common in the PNW.
Stropharia semigloboides WA - described locally with much smaller spores than any other species, so it must be unique. We have no modern collection nor DNA yet. It still needs to be renamed to Protostropharia.
Protostropharia alcis EU - on moose dung specifically, with somewhat different spores. We have many EU sequences I believe to be reliable, but we need local DNA to confirm its presence here.
Stropharia silvatica WA - somewhat smaller spores seem to say it's a unique species, but no modern collections. It still needs to be renamed to Protostropharia.
Stropharia umbonatescens NY - some say it's the same as Protostropharia luteonitens EU, an older species. We only have 1 purported sequence from the EU of Protostropharia luteonitens to compare to, and none of Stropharia umbonatescens (which still needs to be renamed to Protostropharia). We need more reliable sequences, as well as local collections to compare to to figure out if this is one species or two and which ones are here. It is said to have a pointier cap than P. semiglobata.
Protostropharia semiglobata and dorsipora © NAMA and the Field Museum of Natural History
Leratiomyces - click to expand
Often with a yellow or reddish cap and slender stature.
Species mentioned: Leratiomyces ceres, magnivelaris, percevalii, riparius, squamosus var. squamosus, squamosus var. thraustus, cucullatus.
Leratiomyces ceres (Stropharia aurantiaca) - bright red-orange cap without scales, somewhat squat, found in wood chips and gardens. Described from Australia but introduced world-wide into urban areas, where the worldwide DNA (including ours) all matches.
Leratiomyces squamosus var. thraustus EU - bright red-orange cap with scales, usually taller and found in the wild. We have east coast DNA which matches the EU, so ours probably will too, but we don't have local DNA to prove it yet. It's hard to misidentify, so I believe the reports.
Leratiomyces squamosus var. squamosus EU - yellow to orange brown cap (also with scales and taller from the wild). There doesn't seem to be a DNA difference between varieties, although there might be a slight microscopic one in the position of the germ pore as well as the colour difference. We have South American DNA which matches the EU, so ours probably will too, but we don't have local DNA to prove it yet. It's hard to misidentify, so I believe the reports.
Leratiomyces ceres © Steve Trudell, Leratiomyces squamosus var. thraustus © Ben Woo, var. squamosus © Kit Scates Barnhart
Leratiomyces percevalii UK (=riparius WA?, =magnivelaris AK?) - This yellow-brown capped species is more slender than the more common Stropharia ambigua and other similarly coloured Stropharias. It does not have the cottony fluff of Stropharia ambigua when fresh. Nobody can decide if there is 1, 2 or 3 species in this group, but everybody admits they're virtually impossible to tell apart. Well, DNA from OR, CA and Europe all match each other almost perfectly, so my guess is there is only 1 species with 3 names, and the oldest name is Leratiomyces percevalii from the UK. If they are different, Leratiomyces riparius was described locally and definitely occurs here by definition, we need more collections from both areas.
Leratiomyces magnivelaris supposedly has a well developed ring, so we should get local collections with a ring to sequence to see if they really are a different species.
probable Leratiomyces percevalii © Paul Kroeger
Leratiomyces cucullatus WY/Weraroa coprophila ID - this is a gastroid desert mushroom with a pointy yellow-brown cap much taller than it is wide, and contorted pseudo-gills. We have one sequence, probably from somewhere in North America, but no local sequences to verify whether all North American reports represent the same species or not. Leratiomyces cucullatus is the oldest name, if so. Weraroa was the genus name back when gastroid mushrooms were given their own genus even if they weren't genetically distinct from "regular" mushrooms.
probable Leratiomyces cucullatus © Steve Trudell
Stropharia - click to expand
Everything else, but you may need to check the other two genera to make sure.
Species mentioned: Stropharia ambigua, coronilla, hornemannii, albivelata, inuncta, rugosoannulata, kauffmanii, aeruginosa, caerula, pseudocyanea, cyanea, albonitens, melanosperma.
Stropharia ambigua OR - fairly bright yellow, covered in cottony fluffiness when fresh, but without a defined ring. We have several sequences each of this native species from BC, WA and OR, and they all match almost perfectly.
Stropharia ambigua © Noah Siegel
Stropharia coronilla EU - this squat, stocky yellow grass species was sequenced in Europe and in Whistler, and they match well, so that seems to confirm our reports of it.
Stropharia coronilla © Noah Siegel
Stropharia hornemannii EU - usually plain brown (but may be yellow-brown), it is a little stockier than S. ambigua with a more developed ring and perhaps less fluff on the cap margin. We have plenty of EU sequences as well as some AK, WA and OR sequences to verify this species is here.
Stropharia hornemannii © Steve Trudell
Stropharia albivelata WA - this pale to dark vinaceous brown capped species has a warmer cinnamon spore print, and might not be recognized as Stropharia by spore colour alone. We have no local sequences, but as it is an endemic, it's definitely here, although we need sequences to confirm how it fits in with the others. It has the same small spores of the next species.
Stropharia inuncta EU - this yellow-brown capped species usually has hints of grey and purple (and an expected purple-brown spore print). It has much smaller spores than Stropharia hornemannii. We have reliable EU sequences, but no local sequences to compare to to prove it is here.
probable Stropharia albivelata © Kit Scates Barnhart
Stropharia rugosoannulata MA - red capped when young, fading to yellow or brown, in which case the smooth stem is the best clue. Sequences world wide match very well, so even though I have no PNW sequences yet, I'm confident ours is the same species.
Stropharia rugosoannulata © Kit Scates Barnhart
Stropharia kaufmannii WA - scaly caps are rare in Stropharia. This one has a dry, scaly yellow brown cap and stem. We don't have any sequences of this rare west coast endemic species, but since it was described from WA it's definitely what is here.
Stropharia scabella OR (Pholiota scabella) - This one has a dry, scaly, seemingly darker brown cap (with a scaly stem). No spore print colour known yet, presumably dark purple-brown, but since Smith described it as a Pholiota, it might have a more normal brown spore print. The type sequence showed it was a Stropharia.
Stropharia kauffmanii © Andrew Parker, Stropharia scabella (2 photos) © Terri Clements and Donna Fulton
Stropharia aeruginosa EU - blue (but eventually fading to pale yellow), large, somewhat distinct ring
Stropharia caerula EU - blue (fading slowly to pale yellow), small to medium, evanescent ring zone
Stropharia pseudocyanea EU - blue (fading more quickly to pale yellow), small, more conical to umbonate, evanescent ring zone
These are hard to differentiate (being closely related, they have similar spores) and even difficult to recognize as a group after the blue has faded. With the shaggy stems and pale yellow caps, you'll probably think old faded specimens are Stropharia albonitens, below. We have reliable sequences of S. aeruginosa from the EU, and couple of possible sequences of the other two, but so far, none of our local sequences match any of the above. In fact, all 4 PNW sequences I have are the same, and more closely related (about 4 bp different) to the EU species Stropharia cyanea EU than they are to the EU species that are supposedly found here.
So a good name for our most common species seems to be Stropharia aff. cyanea, and we need more collections of all 3 reported species to see what they really are.
Stropharia aff cyanea © NAMA and the Field Museum of Natural History, (what a fresh group member looks like) © Kit Scates Barnhart
Stropharia albonitens EU - this white to pale yellow Stropharia resembles the blue species after they have faded, which it is somewhat related to. We have reliable EU sequences but no PNW collections, which we need to make sure we really do have this species here, and haven't just been finding faded blue Stropharias.
Stropharia melanosperma EU - this white to pale yellow Stropharia has larger spores than the above blue/pale yellow species. We need both EU and local sequences to compare to confirm reports of this from the PNW.
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