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Home • Pholiota alnicola AH 47727 v1.0
Pholiota alnicola by J.M. Barrasa
Pholiota alnicola by J.M. Barrasa

Pholiota alnicola (Fr.) Singer is a saprotrophic species of the order Agaricales that usually fruit in clusters on buried decaying hardwood (specially alder, willow and birch) and sometimes also on conifer wood. It usually fruits in autumn and is widely spread in temperate forests of North America and Europe.

Multilocus phylogenetic studies place P. alnicola in the Hymenogastraceae family within the Agaricoid clade (Matheny et al., 2006). However, pylogenetic analysis of ribosomal DNA (Gulden et al., 2005), includes some Pholiota species in the more inclusive treatment of the Strophariaceae family, as was circumscribed by Kühner (1980). In the sense of Kühner, Strophariaceae includes only saprotrophic species that could play a key role in degradation of lignocellulosic materials accumulated in forest soils and in global carbon recycling. The species included in the genus Pholiota are morphologically characterized by rusty brown spore prints, attached gills to the stem and rings or ring zones. They usually fruit on buried wood, but terrestrial and species fruiting in transition sites between buried wood and ground are also frequent within the genus.

No members of the genus Pholiota were previously sequenced at JGI and P. alnicola, [together with P. conissans (Fr.) M.M. Moser, a fungus that usually grows on plant debris of monocotiledoneous herbaceous plants], has been proposed for genome sequencing in the CSP15-1609 project within a total of 16 new genomes of Agaricales. The genome sequence of the buried wood-rotting fungus P. alnicola will allow to compare its lignocellulolytic enzymes with those of the leaf litter degrading fungus P. conissans. The closely related white-rot wood fungus Kuehneromyces mutabilis (Scop.) Sing & A. H. Smith [= P. mutabilis (Schaeff.) P. Kumm.] was reported to originate a selective wood delignification, causing greater weight losses in conifer than angiosperm wood (Otjen and Blanchette, 1987). Furthermore, this fungus was also reported to be promising for biotechnological application because of its ability to decolorize azo and anthraquinoid dyes (Jarosz-Wilkolazka et al., 2002).

To understand the molecular mechanisms of wood, leaf, and plant debris decay, a range of saprotrophic Strophariaceae members (such as Pholiota, Gymnopilus, Agrocybe, Panaeolus and Galerina species) have been proposed for genome sequencing and analysis. These genomes may be useful for a more efficient utilization of lignocellulosic substrates in biorefineries.


Genome Reference(s)


Gulden, G., Stensrud, Ø., Salchian-Tabrizi, K. and Kauserud, H. 2005. Galerina Earle: A Polyphyletic genus in the consortium of dark-spored agarics. Mycologia, 97 (4): 823-837.

Jarosz-Wilkolazka, A., Kochmanska-Rdest, Malarczyk, E., Wardas, W. and Leonowicz, A. 2002. Fungi and their ability to decolourize azo and antrhaquinonic dyes. Enzyme and Microbial Technology 30: 566-572.

Kühner, R. 1980. Les Hyménomycètes agaricoïdes (Agaricales, Tricholomatales, Pluteales, Russulales). Étude générale et classification. Bull. Soc. Linn. Lyon 49 Numéro special 1027 p.

Matheny, P.B., Curtis, J.M., Hofstetter, V., Aime, M.C., Moncalvo, J.M., Ge, Z.W., Yang, Z.L., Slot, J.C., Ammirati, J.F., Baroni, T.J., Bougher, N.L., Hughes, K.W., Lodge, D.J., Kerrigan, R.W., Seidl, M.T., Aanen, D.K., DeNitis, M., Daniele, G.M., Desjardin, D.E., Kropp, B.R., Norvell, L.L., Parker, A., Vellinga, E.C., Vilgalys, R., Hibbett, D.S., 2006. Major clades of Agaricales: a multilocus phylogenetic overview. Mycologia 98, 982-995.

Otjen, L. and Blanchette, R. 1987. Assessment of 30 White Rot Basidiomycetes for Selective Lignin Degradation. Holforschung, 41: 343-349.