Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Pleurotineae "oysters" of the PNW
This relatively basal sub-order of the Agaricales has a number of very thin club mushrooms, probably representing an ancestral state to gills, but mostly consists of wood-inhabiting "oyster" shaped white spored gilled mushrooms (with a lateral or absent stem). This sub-order also appears to contain the "normal" non-oysters Tricholomopsis (on wood) and 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. This page covers the pleurotoid stature (oyster) mushrooms.
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:
Pleurotus (Pleurotaceae) - click to expand
The "real" oyster mushrooms. Large, off-white caps (tan or grey), smooth gill edges, short eccentric or lateral stem, predominantly growing on hardwoods. Species in this family can trap and consume nematodes so they are carnivorous.
Species mentioned: Pleurotus ostreatus, pulmonarius, populinus, dryinus.
Pleurotus ostreatus EU - perhaps a darker greyish cap than P. pulmonarius with a spore print that has a lilac tinge, otherwise very similar. BC, WA and OR sequences are 2-3 bp and 2 indels different than the EU type sequences, but EU sequences can vary by 3 bp too. It should be checked if conifer collections are really the same species.
Pleurotus cf. pulmonarius EU - perhaps a paler cap than P. ostreatus and a dull tan/cream spore print. Perhaps found on conifers too. Very difficult to tell apart. There are 2 competing concepts in the EU for what the real species is. North American sequences match "#2", Panek's concept and Li's second concept, except for 1 bp and 1 long indel of length 8, which isn't a lot of difference. There's a good chance that means we do have species #2 here, which means we have a 50/50 chance of having the real thing. If not, there's a tentative name for it, Pleurotus #7. Don't expect the cap colours to always be as distinct as the photos suggest.
Pleurotus populinus NA - much like P. pulmonarius with its paler cap and buff spores, but more reliably on cottonwood and aspen east of the cascades, with a somewhat peachy-pink cap, more distant gills and longer spores. We have one EWA sequence that matches reliable sequences from back east.
Just for fun we sequenced a store-bought oyster mushroom, to see if it really is P. ostreatus like they say. It appears that at least that particular store bought oyster mushroom is closer to the Florida species Pleurotus floridanus than it is to the EU species P. ostreatus that can also be found here.
Pleurotus ostreatus © Daniel Winkler, P. cf. pulmonarius © Buck McAdoo, P. populinus © Noah Siegel
Pleurotus dryinus EU - the veiled oyster. The veil wears off in age, but it has a scaly off-white cap and is tougher fleshed than the others. Our sequences are almost a perfect match to many EU sequences.
Pleurotus dryinus © Michael Beug
Hohenbuehelia (Pleurotaceae) - click to expand
Somewhat gelatinous flesh and metuloid cystidia, but in practice hard to tell apart from other genera. Species in this family can trap and consume nematodes so they are carnivorous.
Species mentioned: Hohenbuehelia angustata, cyphelliformis, mastrucata, petaloides, tremula, thornii, unguicularis, nigra. Resupinatus niger.
Hohenbuehelia 'tremula PNW01' EU - unique for sometimes being found on the ground on buried wood, as well as attached to logs. Medium sized (~5cm) shoehorn shaped brown cap with whitish stem. It was long thought that our local species was Hohenbuehelia petaloides EU, but a WA and OR sequence are much closer to a type sequence of the lookalike H. tremula, which has larger spores (>7.5u). Both the WA and OR collections are from the spring. The photos suggest a dark brown cap. Our local sequences differ from the type of H. tremula by 4-5 bp and a couple of ambiguous locations. That may be enough for ours to need a new name. Perhaps local collectors who thought they were finding H. petaloides were not checking the spore size carefully enough, but I think some sources were inaccurate about what spore sizes to expect. If you think you actually find H. petaloides, with spores generally <7.5x4.5u, save it.
Hohenbuehelia thornii EU - this lookalike also has larger spores than H. petaloides, and I don't yet know how to differentiate it from H. 'tremula PNW01'. We have two WA collections matching the ITS type sequence exactly, and both were collected in the fall. The mature photo suggests a pale brown cap.
Hohenbuehelia aff. tremula © Brandon Matheny, H. thornii © Yi-Min Wang and Buck McAdoo
Hohenbuehelia 'angustata PNW02' - a very non-descript tan oyster resembling a medium sized (5 cm or so) stemless Pleurotus. Unlike the above H. petuloides-like species, this grown on logs, has no stem, and a convex tan cap instead of a shoehorn shape. Our two local sequences are 6 bp and 2 ambiguous locations different from an east coast type sequence of this Ohio species. Many east coast sequences match the type exactly, so ours probably needs a new name. H. angustata was reported from here 50 years ago, and only now are we figuring out what those finds probably represented.
Hohenbuehelia cf mastrucata EU - a beautiful, larger (~5 cm) grey scaly oyster covered in gelatinous spines with close, pale gills. We have an EU type sequences, but need local sequences to verify that is what is being found here.
Hohenbuehelia 'angustata PNW02' © Andrew Parker, H. cf. mastrucata © Leah Bendlin
The following tiny, fuzzy grey oysters (a few mm across) with elliptical spores and metuloids are reported from the PNW, and we have all their type sequences, but we don't have local DNA of any of them yet to figure out which ones are really here. We need collections of them all. One report is of a species of Resupinatus with metuloids that is therefore difficult to differentiate from Hohenbuehelia, but the Resupinatus has more closely spaced gills. What we have found locally so far is a tiny, black Resupinatus without metuloids and with round spores, discussed on the Resupinatus page.
Hohenbuehelia cf cyphelliformis UK - very small (<1 cm) grey felty cap and bright white distant gills (just a few of them). There have been only a couple unverified reports from BC.
Hohenbuehelia cf unguicularis EU - another very small (<1 cm) grey felty capped oyster with darker widely spaced gills. Rumour has it that it has been found in BC, perhaps up north.
Resupinatus niger NC (=Hohenbuehelia nigra EU) - this very similar Resupinatus with more closely spaced dark gills has metuloids (causing it to mistakenly be called a Hohenbuehelia in the past) but it doesn't eat nematodes like true Hohenbuehelia do. It has been reported from OR. See the Resupinatus page for more information.
We need collections of all of them for verification.
Pleurocybella aff. porrigens EU - angel wings. Pure white, shoehorn shaped and stemless growing on conifers. Often eaten even though it was responsible for a bunch of fatalities in Japan of people with kidney problems. Our local sequences are 1.5% different than in the EU so ours may need a new name. Two Japanese species are different from the EU by 2% and 6% respectively, so it's even possible that the Japanese toxin is unique to that area. This family also contains some very thin club mushrooms.
Pleurocybella aff. porrigens © Steve Trudell
Phyllotopsis 'nidulans PNW01' - A unique, beautiful stinky, fuzzy orange medium sized stemless oyster from both conifers and hardwoods. Panellus stipticus is similar but stemmed, bitter tasting and not stinky. Alaska sequences seem to be the real EU species, but the east coast, Arizona and the PNW have a sister species 3% different in ITS. Some of our collections were reported to smell worse than those in Europe. This family also contains some very thin club mushrooms.
Phyllotopsis 'nidulans PNW01' © Michael Beug
Sarcomyxa serotina EU - The "late oyster", another unique, beautiful medium-sized late season oyster usually from hardwoods, with a green and orange cap and a stubby lateral orange stem with black dots. It has a somewhat viscid cap and gelatinous flesh. Local sequences are only a single bp and indel different than a bunch of EU sequences.
Sarcomyxa PNW01 - a single collection from WA on oak looks like a very robust Sarcomyxa with a very thick stem and a purple cap with bright yellow areas.
Sarcomyxa serotina © Andrew Parker, S. PNW01 © Michael Beug
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