Home • Mycocalia denudata CBS 494.85 v1.0
Photo of Mycocalia denudata CBS 494.85 v1.0
Fruiting bodies of M. denudata (NY-02760525) growing on a plant stem, collected by J.T. Palmer. Photo credit: Nattapol Kraisitudomsook, taken with Zeiss Axiocam 208. Scale bar = 1 mm.

In the “1KFG: Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya” project (CSP1974), we are sequencing 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.

Mycocalia denudata is a bird’s nest fungus (family Nidulariaceae, class Agaricomycetes). All bird’s nest fungi are saprotrophic and grow on dead or decaying wood. They have the ability to degrade lignin and are therefore considered white rot fungi (Wicklow et al. 1984). Mycocalia species are phylogenetically distant from other genera in the bird’s nest fungi, and it has been suggested that they retain some of the ancestral characteristics of the family (Kraisitudomsook et al. 2021). Mycocalia species are distinct from other bird’s nest fungi because they have very small peridioles (egg-like spore cases which contain the sexual spores and the spore-generating cells called basidia) when compared to other members of the group. Species of Mycocalia also lack several important characters found in the more common species of bird’s nest fungi. They do not have cupulate peridia (an outer covering of the fruiting body that resembles a small nest), epiphragms (a lid on the peridium that covers the peridioles when they are young) or funiculi (specialized cords that attach the peridioles to the peridium) (Brodie 1975, Cruz et al. 2018). Mycocalia species are found in both temperate and tropical climates but are rarely collected. Mycocalia denudata is the type species of Mycocalia and was first described from England as Nidularia denudata (Fries and Nordholm 1817). Palmer (1961) noticed that the peridia of Nidularia denudata are different in structure compared to other Nidularia species, so he transferred N. denudata to a new genus as Mycocalia denudata. Because Mycocalia species might contain several ancestral features of bird’s nest fungi, the genome of M. denudata could be the key to understand the morphological changes during the evolution of bird’s nest fungi. The genome will also help to better understand the biology of this group in general, including the cellular machinery and enzymes that these fungi use to compete with other organisms in the forest.

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).

Genome Reference(s)


  • Brodie HJ, 1975. The Bird’s Nest Fungi. University of Toronto Press, Canada, pp. 1-199.
  • Cruz R, Carmo LT, Martín MP, Gusmao LFP, Baseia I.G., 2018. Fungal Planet description sheets: 716-784. Persoonia. 40: 308-309.
  • Fries EM, Nordholm J, 1817. Symbole Gasteromycorum Ad Illustrandam Floram Suecicam, pp. 1-25.
  • Kraisitudomsook N, Healy RA, Smith ME. 2021. Molecular systematics and taxonomic overview of the bird’s nest fungi (Nidulariaceae). Fungal Biology.
  • Palmer JT. 1961. Observations on Gasteromycetes IX. The Conservation of Nidularia Fr . and the Separation of Mycocalia J.T. Palmer, gen . nov. Taxon. 10:54–60.
  • Wicklow DT, Langie R, Crabtree S, Detroy RW. 1984. Degradation of lignocellulose in wheat straw versus hardwood by Cyathus and related species (Nidulariaceae). Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 30:632–636.