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

Click here for my Pictorial Key to the thin clubs.


This relatively basal sub-order of the Agaricales has a number of very thin club mushrooms, covered here, 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.

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

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.

unsequenced Pterulicium gracile © Connor Dooley,     Macrotyphula 'juncea PNW01' © Harte Singer,     unsequenced Macrotyphula fistulosa © Kit Scates Barnhart


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, it is not yet known if it has sclerotia or not.

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

Typhula (Typhulaceae)

This genus usually has unflattened sclerotia (irregularly lobed to spherical).


Typhula cf incarnata EU - a couple cm tall with a pale pinkish head, parasitic on cereals and grasses. You will see just the sclerotia in spring, and the fruit bodies in fall. It is now the type species since T. phacorrhiza ended up moving to Macrotyphula. Olariaga provides a sequence of what this probably is, but we have no local sequences yet to compare to find out what our local reports of it really are.

Typhula abietina EU - very small, only several mm tall, with a yellow-brown head and irregularly lobed brown sclerotium on conifer debris. No DNA yet.

Typhula cystidiophora OR - A cream coloured club up to 5 cm tall coming from a dark brown sclerotium on the ground. Berthier moved this to Pseudotyphula which is thought to be in the suborder Marasmiineae. We have no DNA yet to know where this really belongs.

Typhula erumpens BC - multiple white clubs a few mm tall come from each sclerotium under hardwood bark. No DNA yet.

Typhula cf erythropus EU - a white head a couple cm high on a dark red-brown stem and sclerotium. The stem is longer than the head. Olariaga provides a sequence of what this probablyis, but we have no local sequences yet to compare to find out what our local reports of it really are.

Typhula idahoensis ID - another parasite of cereals and grasses that shows sclerotia in spring and fruit bodies in fall, with a warm brown head, dark brown stem, and almost black sclerotium, growing about 1 cm tall. One sequence from somewhere on the planet was labeled this, but it's not a reliable sequence. We need local collections.

Typhula cf ishikariensis JP - very similar to T. idahoensis, but with pale greyish-white clubs. There are 2 genetic sister species going by this name in Japan, neither of which have been found in the PNW yet, although this species has been reported from here.

Typhula PNW02 - one BC sequence was mistaken for T. ishikariensis and is a sister species to that, so this species may represent what reports of T. ishiariensis are in the PNW.

Typhula mycophaga BC - grows on puffballs, up to 1 cm tall with a white head and rusty chestnut sclerotium. No DNA yet.

Typhula cf sclerotioides EU - usually <1 cm tall, with a whitish head and stem and a dark brown sclerotium, growing on herbaceous stems and leaves. Olariaga provides a sequence of what this probably is, but we have no local sequences yet to compare to find out what our local reports of it really are.

Typhula cf setipes UK? - with a whitish head and pale greyish-brown stem, sometimes without noticeable sclerotia, a few mm tall on hardwood leaves. We have one sequence from the EU purporting to be this, but it may not be reliable. No local DNA either to confirm the reports that it is here.

Typhula cf thaxteri CT - too small to see with the naked eye, only 60 to 80 microns tall with a round head, white. No DNA yet.

Typhula umbrina BC and Ontario - about 1 cm tall, white to brown head on a reddish to greyish brown stem and chestnut coloured sclerotium. Found on turnip plants in BC. No DNA yet.

Typhula PNW01 - one PNW sequence was mistaken for Lentaria, so it may be somewhat coral shaped.

unsequenced Typhula erythropus © Steve Trudell,     unsequenced Typhula setipes © Fred Rhoades


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