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Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Albatrellaceae of the PNW
by Danny Miller

Click here for my Pictorial Key to Albatrellus s.l.

Introduction

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

Albatrellus was a genus of

  • large, thick-fleshed and relatively soft compared to most 'polypores' (monomitic)
  • stemmed polypores
  • found on the ground, not on wood, almost always under conifers (but not exclusively)
  • with a usually  white pore surface (sometimes blue)

Exceptions are the felty brown capped and iodine smelling Jahnoporus and the blackening Boletopsis, which are not related, and the somewhat related Bondarzewia, which is not always found on wood. Another important exception is Albatrellus syringae, now known as Xanthoporus syringae, with a brown cap and yellow pores. DNA studies showed that it was not in the Russulales at all, but found with most other polypores in the Polyporales.

The genus was split up recently into a number of new genera, but that is problematic. It's very difficult to tell the genera apart without learning each species and memorizing which genus it is. Ideally, a genus would be easy to recognize on sight without microscopic characters being necessary to differentiate them. The alternative, to continue to call them all Albatrellus, is not very problematic. The genetic group that includes all of Albatrellus also includes Polyporoletus, which is already difficult to differentiate from Albatrellus, a pored crust, Byssoporia, and some false truffles, Fevansia, Mycolevis, Leucophleps and Leucogaster. It's already very common for crusts and truffle-like fungi to be placed into the genus of the more "normal" looking mushrooms they are closely related to.

Here are all the species of Albatrellus sensu lato (s.l.), meaning Albatrellus considered in its "wide sense", except for Xanthoporus (Albatrellus) syringae, which turned out to be no kind of Albatrellus at all. That is found in the Polyporales and can definitely no longer be thought of as an Albatrellus.

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