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Rhizopogon vulgaris
Left panel: Rhizopogon vulgaris collected from Pinus muricata forests in coastal California, USA. Right panel: truffle fruit bodies, ectomycorrhizal root tips, and rhizomorphic mycelium. Photos by Kabir Peay and Tom Bruns.

In the “1KFG: Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya” project (CSP1974), we aim to sequence additional sampling of genomic diversity within 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. This genome is part of a collaborative effort aimed at using genomics data to understand the evolutionary history, ecology, and genomic mechanisms of mutualistic ectomycorrhizal symbionts and their Pinaceae hosts.

Rhizopogon vulgaris

Rhizopogon vulgaris (Vittidani) M. Lange is an ectomycorrhizal truffle-forming fungus in the family Rhizopogonaceae. This species associates with Pinaceae host trees where it exchanges mineral nutrients for photosynthates. According to Trappe et al. (2007), it is relatively common in coastal and montane conifer forests North America, particularly in the western United States. The host specificity of R. vulgaris has not been explored in great depth, but this species has been confirmed to associate with both hard and soft pine hosts (Rusca et al. 2006).

Rhizopogon is one of the most common ectomycorrhizal symbionts of the pine family (Pinaceae) in the northern hemisphere. Commonly known as ‘false truffles’, the mushrooms of this genus provide food for both wildlife and humans (Maser et al. 2009). Rhizopogon species have also been widely used in forest restoration following natural and human-made disturbances and likely play an important role in facilitating soil carbon sequestration in mycorrhizal forests.

Please contact the PI for permission prior to the use of any data in publications.


Trappe M, Evans F, Trappe JM. 2007. Field Guide to North American Truffles. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA, USA.

Rusca T, Kennedy PG, Bruns TD. 2006.  The effect of different pine hosts on the sampling of Rhizopogon spore banks in five eastern Sierra Nevada forests.  New Phytologist 170: 551-560.

Maser C, Claridge AW, Trappe JM. 2009. Trees, Truffles, and Beasts: How Forests Function. Rudgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.