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Kurtia argillacea
Kurtia argillacea fruiting body in situ on Betula sp., Finland (collection Otto Miettinen 21477, origin of the genome)

Kurtia argillacea

Kurtia argillacea forms white corticioid fruiting bodies on dead wood of various kinds. It is reported from all parts of the world, but the current concept of this species is certainly collective, i.e. many species hide under this name in herbaria and public databases. Kolarík & Vohník (2018) showed that one species in the Kurtia argillacea complex forms ericoid mycorrhiza with Vaccinium. On the other hand Kurtia species grow like a saprotrophic white-rot fungus consuming dead wood in late stages of decay, but its decay capabilities have not been studied. The sequenced strain does not belong to the same species as what Kolarík & Vohník studied, and it is unclear if it is also mycorrhizal; no or very few Ericaceae grew in the vicinity of its collecting locality.

Phylogenetic position of Kurtia argillacea, the type of the genus Kurtia, is somewhat uncertain. It clearly belongs to the Agaricomycetes, but nrDNA sequences fail to place it to any existing order (Larsson 2007). Based on a few protein coding genes, Kolarík & Vohník (2018) suggested that it is a member of the Hymenochaetales, though its position in the order remains unclear.

This genome is based on a polysporic culture make from a fruiting body that grew on a fallen birch crown in a deciduous herb-rich forest dominated by Alnus incana, Betula, Acer platanoides, and Salix caprea on clay soil in Helsinki, Finland.

References:

Kolarík M, Vohník M (2018) When the ribosomal DNA does not tell the truth: The case of the taxonomic position of Kurtia argillacea, an ericoid mycorrhizal fungus residing among Hymenochaetales. Fungal Biol 122 (1):1-18.

Larsson K-H (2007) Molecular phylogeny of Hyphoderma and the reinstatement of Peniophorella. Mycol Res 111:186-195.