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Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Phyllotopsidineae Thin Clubs of the PNW
by Danny Miller

Click here for my Pictorial Key to the thin clubs.


The relatively basal Phyllotopsidineae sub-order of the Agaricales has a number of very thin club mushrooms either lacking sclerotia or with flattened sclerotia. The similar Typhula have irregularly lobed to spherical sclerotia. Most Phyllotopsidineae consist of wood-inhabiting "oyster" shaped white spored gilled mushrooms (with a lateral or absent stem). This sub-order also contains the non-oyster mushrooms Tricholomopsis (on wood) and probably contains Aphroditeola (with the derived trait of growing on the ground, something not common until the more derived clades). White spored oysters appear in other more derived sub-orders as well. My pictorial key link above covers them all.

More work may have to be done to sort out this sub-order and how the various families relate.

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.

Pterulicium (Pterulaceae) and Macrotyphula (Phyllotopsidaceae)

These genera have no sclerotia, or if they do, the sclerotia are compressed (rather flattened)


Pterulicium cf gracile UK (=Pterula gracilis UK) - no sclerotia, white, <1 cm tall, <0.3 mm thick. We have an epitype sequence but no local sequences yet.

Macrotyphula juncea PNW01 - no sclerotia, <10 cm tall, <2 mm thick, with the fertile top 2/3 yellow brown and the bottom 1/3 darker brown. Our WA and CA sequences differ from both possibilities for what the EU species is by 2% and 10%, so ours appears to need a new name, no matter which species in the EU turns out to be the real thing.

Macrotyphula cf fistulosa EU - no sclerotia, darker yellow to orange brown, <10 cm tall, <2 mm thick, this is probably our largest species. There are several possible species in the EU, but no local DNA yet to compare.

Macrotyphula PNW03 - one unique sequence from OR was of a collection of wispy white threads on an alder leaf with faint yellow-brown tips. No sclerotia were noticed.

Macrotyphula PNW04 - only the flattened sclerotia have been found so far on maple leaves, one BC sequence is all it is known by.

unsequenced Pterulicium gracile © Connor Dooley,     Macrotyphula 'juncea PNW01' © Harte Singer,     unsequenced M. fistulosa © Kit Scates Barnhart,     M. PNW03 © Leah Bendlin


Macrotyphula phacorrhiza EU - similar size and colours as M. juncea (yellow-brown for the top 2/3, <10 cm tall, <1 mm thick) but with a flattened orange-brown sclerotia, spores 11-15 x 4.5-5.5u. This used to be the type species of Typhula, until it was discovered to belong in Macrotyphula. Now the type species of Typhula was changed to T. incarnata. We have an epitype sequence of M. phacorrhiza, but no local sequences.

'Typhula' phacorrhiza var. heterogenea ID - has a different microscopic structure in the sclerotia. I think the type has been lost so we may never know if this is actually different.

Macrotyphula megasperma BC - very similar to M. phacorrhiza, but larger spores 14-16.5 x 7-8u. No sequences yet.

Macrotyphula PNW02 - one OR sequence of a thinnish yellowish species that does have flattened sclerotia.

unsequenced Macrotyphula phacorrhiza © Andrew Parker, flattened sclerotia © Richard Morrison


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