Home • Gyromitra infula GyrinfSpk-SM18 v1.0
Gyromitra infula, Norway, Akershus, Frogn, Husebyskogen, 1977. [Photo credit: Klaus Høiland]
Gyromitra infula, Norway, Akershus, Frogn, Husebyskogen, 1977. [Photo credit: Klaus Høiland]

In the "1KFG: Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya" project (CSP1974), we aim to sequence additional sampling of genomic diversity within keystone lineages of plant-interacting fungi and saprophytic fungi that are of special ecological importance for understanding terrestrial ecosystems. In addition, comparative genome analysis with saprotrophic, mycorrhizal and pathogenic fungi will provide new insights into the specific and conserved adaptations associated with each fungal lifestyle.

Gyromitra infula (Schaeff.) Quel.

The genus Gyromitra includes ca. 18 ascomycete species with an evolutionary center in the Northern hemisphere (family Discinaceae, order Pezizales). Gyromitra infula forms a cinnamon to amber to reddish brown stipitate, saddle-shaped cap with 2 to 4 lobes, with an irregular, smooth surface. The stipe, typically 2-6 cm high, by 1.5-2 cm thick, is circular in cross-section and compressed at the base, pruinose, pale brown to reddish or grey-lilac in colour.

A saprotroph, it grows mainly on litter and woody residuals in coniferous or mixed forests in the Northern hemisphere. The species G. infula typically fruit in late summer and autumn. While several incidents of poisoning have been reported in foragers seeking and ingesting false morels (e.g. G. esculenta and G. ambigua), in the case of G. infula the level of toxicity is still uncertain. The toxin gyromitrin, present in some Gyromitra spp., is metabolized and accumulated in the liver upon digestion into monomethylhydrazine, a volatile hydrazine component also used as rocket fuel.

The strain Gyromitra infula GyrinfSpk-SM18 was isolated from a sporocarp of Pycnoporellus alboluteus fruiting on a decayed Picea abies trunk sampled in Nordmarka forest in Oslo, Norway.

Why sequence the genome?
Commonly known as the saddle-shaped false morel (or hooded false morel), the genome of G. infula will help resolving the phylogenetic placement of the genus Gyromitra. A three-gene/ITS phylogenetic study (Wang and Zhuang, 2019) revealed four clades among 13 investigated Gyromitra spp. of a monophyletic subgenus Gyromitra. A genome of Gyromitra will also serve as a relevant outgroup for phylogenomics studies of the families Helvellaceae and Morchellaceae of the order Pezizales.

Researchers who wish to publish analyses using data from unpublished CSP genomes are respectfully required to contact the PI and JGI to avoid potential conflicts on data use and coordinate other publications with the CSP master paper(s).


  • Xin-Cun Wang & Wen-Ying Zhuang (2019) A three-locus phylogeny of Gyromitra (Discinaceae, Pezizales) and discovery of two cryptic species, Mycologia, 111:1, 69-77