Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Marasmiaceae of the PNW (Marasmiineae)
Those species currently officially in the Marasmiaceae contain, not surprisingly, mostly species of marasmioid stature, but also a few of pleurotoid (oyster) stature. The Omphalotaceae family (which should probably be considered part of this family) contains most of the other marasmioid stature mushrooms, so most marasmioid mushrooms do fall in an expanded definition of the Marasmiaceae, which genetically, should probably include the Omphalotaceae. Especially since Campanella appears to be outside what is currently defined as the Marasmiaceae s.s. and closer to the Omphalotaceae. It appears that it might be best if the Marasmiaceae and the Omphalotaceae are considered one big Marasmiaceae family.
Unfortunately, there's not much rhyme nor reason to identifying the vast multitude of miscellaneous white spored mushrooms to family, as many mushrooms in different families and even sub-orders lack distinctive traits, so they have to be learned individually. Marasmiaceae mushrooms may have a tough, cartilaginous stem and quite distant gills. Marasmius itself is especially noteworthy for its ability to dry out and revive again when wet. A protective substance seems to keep the cells from being damaged when the mushroom is desiccated, so when it re-moistens, it can revive back to a healthy state.
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:
Marasmius - click to expand
Capable of drying out and reviving, typically with widely spaced gills and tough stems. Note that this describes other genera in other families in this sub-order as well.
mentioned: Marasmius cohaerens, limosus, oreades, plicatulus, tremulae.
Marasmius oreades EU - a rather robust (for Marasmius), tan species growing in grass in the spring. It sometimes has a wavy cap with an upturned margin. It is famous as one of our species likely to grow in fairy rings. Our sequences from BC and WA match most EU sequences, but not all of them. Until we get a type sequence I am assuming ours is the real species.
Marasmius oreades © Steve Trudell
Marasmius cf cohaerens EU - another robust species, but a little more brightly coloured species with a two-toned stem (pale on top and red-brown on the bottom) found on hardwood debris. We have EU sequences that don't agree with each other, so there may be two competing concepts for what this species is as well, or perhaps the two sequences represent the two varieties. var. cohaerens is said to have distant gills and is found on leaves and humus. var. lachnophyllus is said to have more closely spaced gills and is found on hardwood logs and twigs. We don't have any local sequences to see how ours match up yet, but at lesat var. cohaerens that is reported from the PNW.
Marasmius plicatulus CA - similarly sized sometimes with a gorgeous red cap that may be somewhat velvety and an more uniformly dark stem. Even when the red cap has faded and the velvety texture has been lost and it starts to resemble M. cohaerens, the stem will still be at least somewhat darker at the top. A half dozen sequences from BC through OR are the same, but rumour has it CA has more than one species, so we should get more collections from there to verify that ours is the real species and that we only have one local species.
Marasmius cf cohaerens var. cohaerens © Michael Beug, M. plicatulus © Kurt Steinbach and Kitty Lundeen
Marasmius cf limosus EU - a very small whitish species (<0.25 cm across) with very few gills attached to a collarium and a two-toned stem. It is striate, but with only a few gills, it has only a few pleats. Growing on grasses and sedges. The small Collybiopsis and Pseudomarasmius are not this small and do not have a collarium. We have EU sequences, but no local sequences to confirm ours is the same thing. We need local collections.
Marasmius cf tremulae EU - an equally small whitish species lacking a collarium and with a short, bristly white stem. It needs genus verification to show it really belongs in Marasmius and sequences from both the EU and here to verify its reports.
possible Marasmius limosus © A and O Ceska
Crinipellis - click to expand
Crinipellis have matted hairs on the cap and a tough, thin dark stem. I should note that my ITS only tree shows that Crinipellis may be inside of Marasmius with 78% probability, but I believe other more robust studies may show it does indeed deserve its own genus. I await a more robust multi-gene study.
Species mentioned: Crinipellis piceae, scabella, setipes.
Crinipellis cf piceae Siberia -on conifer needles, with a minute basal disc at the point of attachment. We might have SE Asian sequences of this Siberian species, but no type area sequences yet, nor any local sequences, so I can't yet say if we have the real thing here.
Crinipellis scabella EU/C. setipes Peck - on hardwood debris or grasses or other plant debris. We have EU sequences of C. scabella (that fall into two groups of sequences that differ by 2% in ITS1) and ENA sequences of C. setipes and they are distinct species, so they do not appear to be synonyms are some have suggested. We don't yet have local sequences to know which of those species is the one found once in BC, pictured below.
Crinipellis cf. piceae © Noah Siegel, C. cf. scabella/stipitata © Sharon Godkin
Campanella/Tetrapyrgos - click to expand
Typically thought of as pleurotoid on stems with rudimentary cross-veined folds, but also contains the former Marasmiellus candidus, also found on stems. Genetically, you could think of all of these as Campanella, although some may split them into several genera. As noted in the introduction, this genus may not belong in this family.
Species mentioned: Marasmiellus candidus, Tetrapyrgos subdendrophora.
'Marasmiellus' aff. 'candidus' EU - white marasmioid turning pink in age, with a black-bottomed stem, found on sticks. The nomenclature is a mess. Even the original EU species can't keep the name Campanella candida as there is already another mushroom by that name. Ours needs to be renamed to Campanella and given a new species epithet. Our DNA is 2% different than EU DNA. Eastern NA might have their own unique species too.
'Campanella' aff. candida © Daniel Winkler and Danny Miller
Campanella subdendrophora BC - <1 cm across growing on stems with cross-veined rudimentary gills and a tiny off-centre stem. It can stain dark bluish grey and the flesh is somewhat gelatinous. It probably can't stay in Tetrapyrgos, where some place it, but can stay in a wide concept of Campanella that includes Tetrapyrgos and others or move to a new genus, Pseudocampanella.
'Tetrapyrgos' "veiny" (washingtonensis n.p.) - very similar but larger, >1 cm across, probably even more cross-veined and usually without a stem. This is said to have the same ITS sequence as the former species and can't be distinguished by that gene, but I would like a sequence.
Campanella subdendrophora © Fred Rhoades, C. "veiny" © Noah Siegel
Back to Main Menu