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.
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:
Protostropharia - click to expand
Usually yellow-brown, sometimes found on dung, often with a hemispheric cap, slender stature and rooting stem. Some kind of ring or ring zone is usually present.
Note that Protostropharia appears to be inside Hypholoma s.l. as currently circumscribed, so Hypholoma will need to be further split, or else Phaeonematoloma, Bogbodia and others will have to be subsumed back into Hypholoma.
Species mentioned: Protostropharia semiglobata, dorsipora, alcis, luteonitens. Stropharia stercoraria, semigloboides, silvatica, umbonatescens.
Protostropharia semiglobata EU - usually on dung, rich soil or fertilized grass. 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 - from forests, with much smaller spores than any other species. We have a sequenced collection from OR from the right habitat with the right sized spores that must be this. It is commonly thought that it needs moving to Protostropharia, but it doesn't clade with the other Protostropharia, but perhaps near Bogbodia instead.
Protostropharia alcis EU - on moose dung specifically, with somewhat different spores. We have many EU sequences I believe to be reliable, and one matching EWA sequence that confirms its presence here.
'Stropharia' silvatica WA - somewhat smaller spores than P. semiglobata seem to say it's a unique species, but there are no modern collections. It still needs to be renamed to Protostropharia.
Protostropharia luteonitens EU/(='Stropharia' umbonatescens NY?) - a somewhat umbonate dung species. EU and ENA sequence of P. luteonitens match each other, so I'm inclined to believe the synonymy. One WA sequence from the forest matches them, but no dung was noted . We need more collections.
Protostropharia semiglobata and dorsipora © NAMA and the Field Museum of Natural History
'Stropharia' semigloboides © Leah Bendlin, Protostropharia alcis © Andrew Parker, P. luteonitens © Danny Miller
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 aff squamosus - The EU species Leratiomyces squamosus var. thraustus has a bright red-orange cap with scales, is usually taller and found in the wild. Leratiomyces squamosus var. squamosus is an EU species with a yellow to orange brown cap (also with scales and taller from the wild). There doesn't seem to be an ITS DNA difference between varieties in the EU, although there might be a slight microscopic one in the position of the germ pore as well as the colour difference. Our one WA sequence of an orange-brown capped collection is 4% different than EU and ENA sequences, so ours may need a new name. We should sequence a local red capped collection to verify it will have the same ITS DNA. It would make sense that the urban L. ceres would be the same species worldwide but the wild species L. squamosus would not, as urban habitats around the world don't actually vary much in ecology like wild habitats do.
Leratiomyces ceres © Steve Trudell, probable L. aff squamosus (red cap version) © Ben Woo, L. aff squamosus (non red capped version) © 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. One collection from the EU that may have had a ring had a different sequence, but that doesn't mean that Alaska type area and PNW collections are the same.
Leratiomyces percevalii © Bruce Newhouse
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 scabella OR (=Pholiota scabella OR, =Stropharia kaufmannii WA?) - Dry, scaly caps are rare in Stropharia. Zeller described Pholiota scabella in 1933. The type was sequenced and it turned out to be a Stropharia. Smith described the very similar Stropharia kauffmanii in 1941. He probably wouldn't have been looking for older synonyms in Pholiota. It looked like there were two species for a while. S. scabella can have a dark brown cap (see the AZ photos). I thought that the yellow brown capped version might represent S. kauffmanii, but it too has a sequence matching the type of S. scabella. So I think S. scabella can have a variable cap colour and S. kaufmannii is a newer synonym. We should sequence that type to prove it.
Stropharia scabella © Andrew Parker, Stropharia scabella from AZ © Terri Clements and Donna Fulton (2 images)
Blue Stropharias - All blue Stropharias are hard to differentiate (being closely related, they have similar spores) and are 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.
Stropharia cyanea EU (=S. caerulea EU) - blue (fading slowly to pale yellow), small to medium, evanescent ring zone. Only 2 matching sequences have been found so far. ITS sequences of both species in the EU are basically the same, supporting the idea that they are synonyms. However, S. cyanea is hundreds of years older (1784 vs. 1972) so I don't know why many people use the name S. caerulea instead of S. cyanea.
Stropharia 'cyanea PNW01' - All but 3 PNW sequences of a blue Stropharia have been this species, 4 bp different than S. cyanea. I don't know yet how to tell them apart, or if that's enough reason to justify treating this as a distinct species. This is the only species found so far in WWA, the other 3 have only been found in EWA near the ID border.
Stropharia pseudocyanea EU - blue (fading more quickly to pale yellow), small, more conical to umbonate, evanescent ring zone. We have EU sequences, and one EWA sequence that matches them.
Stropharia aeruginosa EU - blue (but eventually fading to pale yellow), large, somewhat more distinct ring than the others. We have EU sequences, and although this species has been reported from the PNW, we haven't found matching DNA yet. One stocky purported EWA collection turned out to be S. cyanea instead.
Stropharia cyanea (2 images), Stropharia 'cyanea PNW01' and S. pseudocyanea © Andrew Parker
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 Stropharia 'cyanea PNW01'.
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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