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Mycena pura
Photo credit: Arne Aronsen

The genome of Mycena pura was sequenced as part of the Mycenaceae sequencing project and the overarching JGI 1000 Fungal Genomes project “Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya“ (CSP 1974).This project will examine members of the Mycena genus with respect to evaluate the genomic basis of their different nutritional modes.

The lilac bonnet, Mycena pura

Mycena pura is a member of the Calodontes section (Maas Geesteranus 1988, Aronsen and Læssøe 2016). It represents one of the most morphologically as well as molecularly variable species complexes among all macrofungi - as A.H. Smith (1947) put it, "although one quickly learns to recognize the species, he soon gives up trying to distinguish any subdivisions of it". In size, it ranges from 1-5 cm on the pileus, a stipe between 4-9 cm in length, and lamellae that can be adnate, adnexed, decurrent or sinuate. It usually contains some amount of lilac-reddish colour, but occurs in several colour varieties which include red, pink, pale, beetroot purple , blue, yellow, white or multicoloured1. Several of these have been named (see e.g. Maas Geesteranus 1988), but none of them have any phylogenetic meaning (Harder et al 2010.). It does contain a number of cryptic species (Harder et al. 2013) that can only be identified molecularly except for the form Mycena pura var. lutea (Gillet 1876), which has been renamed Mycena luteovariegata (Harder et al. 2013). It has been identified on all continents except Antarctica2, and is overall very common. Accordingly, it has been found on all types of substrates, on coniferous and deciduous litter and wood as well as grassland, and from tropical forests to Arctic tundras. The collection of the specimen that produced the culture was done by Christoffer B. Harder and Ella Thoen at the subarctic tundra location Reinroseheia at Finse (Hardangervidda, Central Norway) on Cassiope tetragona (Ericaceae) 12/8 2016.

Recently, it has been shown that whereas all Mycena members have traditionally been considered saprotrophic, M. pura is able to associate with the ectomycorrhizal birch (Betula pendula) and transfer macronutrients (phosphorous) back to the plant, thus resembling a mycorrhiza- or mycorrhizoid life style. We thus selected this species as one of the most intriguing Mycenas to provide information about the ecological versatility of this genus.

This genome was derived from dikaryotic (diploid) pure culture on MEA agar with ampicilin and benomyl and should be free of xenobiotic contaminations. Researchers who wish to use data from unpublished Mycena genomes for publication are respectfully required to contact the PI and JGI to avoid potential conflicts on data use and coordinate other publications with the Mycena master paper(s).


Aronsen, A.; Læssøe, T. (2016): The genus Mycena s.l. in The Fungi of Northern Europe, vol. 5. Copenhagen, 373 p.

Gillet, C.C. (1876): Les Hyménomycètes ou Description de tous les Champignons qui Croissent en France: 390.

Harder, C.B., Læssøe, T.,  Kjøller, R., Frøslev, T.G.  (2010). A comparison between ITS phylogenetic relationships and morphological species recognition within Mycena sect. Calodontes in Northern Europe. Mycological Progress 9: 395–405.

Harder, C.B., Læssøe, T., Frøslev, T.G., Ekelund. F., Rosendahl, S., Kjøller, R. (2013) A three-gene phylogeny of the Mycena pura complex reveals 11 phylogenetic species and shows ITS to be unreliable for species identification. Fungal Biology 117: 764–75.

Maas Geesteranus, R. A. Conspectus of the Mycenas of the Northern Hemisphere. Proc. Kon. Ned. Akad. v. Wetensch. (Ser. C) (1988).

Smith, A.H. (1947) North American species of Mycena. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.

Thoen, E., Harder, C.B., Kauserud, H., Botnen, S., Vik, U., Taylor, A.F.S., Menkis, A., Skrede, I.: The ubiquitous mycenas - purely saprotrophs or potential plant root symbionts? (unpublished).


1 https://mycena.no/pura.htm

2 https://www.gbif.org/species/2527219