Home • Ramaria rubella (R. acris) UT-36052-T v1.0
Photo of Ramaria rubella (R. acris) UT-36052-T v1.0
Ramaria rubella (R. acris) coralloid fruiting bodies. Picture taken in Minnesota, USA by Alicia Knudson

Within the framework of the CSP 'Metatranscriptomics of Forest Soil Ecosystems' project, we are aiming to explore the interaction of forest trees with communities of soil fungi, including ectomycorrhizal symbionts that dramatically affect bioenergy-relevant plant growth, and saprotrophic soil fungi impacting carbon sequestration in forests. We are sequencing the genome of the most abundant fungal species harvested on studied sites to serve as the foundation for a reference database for metagenomics of fungi and for a comprehensive survey of the potential soil fungal metabolome.

Ramaric rubella (R. acris)

Ramaria rubella (Ramaria acris) (Schaeff.) R.H. Petersen is a coralloid fungus found on dead wood (Picea, Pinus, Abies) in Gomphales. This genus is polyphyletic and contains 600 species of coralloid fungi that are diverse in size, coloration and amount of branching. There are four morphological subgenera: subgenus Ramaria includes species with large, colorful fruiting bodies that are believed to have ectomycorrhizal associations with a variety of tree species, and spores with striations; subgenus Laeticolora also contains species with mycorrhizal, colorful fruiting bodies but with bumpy/warty spore ornamentation; subgenera Lentoramaria and Echinoramaria contain medium sized fruiting bodies found on wood or leaf litter and spores with bumps or spines (Echinoramaria). Gomphales includes genera with a variety of fruiting body forms and there have been multiple transitions from coralloid to other forms and back. The coralloid form appears to be highly successful and exists in other orders within Basidiomycota (Agaricales) and in some mushroom species when light deprived. Genomes of other Gomphales species (Clavariadelphus truncatus, Gautieria morchelliformis, and Kavinia (Hydnocristella) himantia are already underway but R. rubella would be the first representative of the coralloid form that dominates the order.

Species within subgenera Lentoramaria and Echinoramaria are assumed to be wood decaying fungi but very few studies have been undertaken to provide data for the assumption. The following species have been cultured on malt yeast agar and appear to not require a plant association: R. apiculata var. brunnea, R. apiculata, R. stricta, R. stricta var. concolor, R. rubella, R. gracilis (Petersen 1972). Similarly, species with fruiting bodies arising from the soil are assumed to be mycorrhizal. The following species have been identified as mycorrhizal based on identification of the mycorrhizae by morphological or genetic (ITS) methods: R. abietina, R. acrisiccescens, R. aurea, R. celerivirescens, R. cyaneigranosa, R. flava, R. flavobrunnescens var. aromatica, R. formosa, R. fennica, R. largentii, R. ochraceovirens, R. sandaracina, R. spinulosa, R. subbotrytis (Agerer et al. 1996, Nouhra et al. 2005, Scattolin et al. 2008, Trappe 1962).