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Suillus fuscotomentosus
Suillus fuscotomentosus photographed by Nhu Nguyen, December 6, 2014. Near Monterey California.

Suillus fuscotomentosus

Suillus fuscotomentosus Thiers & A.H. Sm. is a mutualistic ectomycorrhizal mushroom-forming fungus that exchanges soil mineral nutrients for photosynthates from its host. The species associates with Pinus hosts in the subgenus Pinus. It is native to coastal central and northern California and the interior Sierra Nevada mountains, mostly in the western foothills, but collections have been found at higher altitudes (Nguyen et al. 2016). Along the coast, it associates with Monterey pines (Pinus radiata) and Bishop pines (Pinus muricata) and in the mountains it associates with Ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa). Mushrooms fruit abundantly under young Ponderosa pines. Not much is known about its biology despite being a species that produces impressive aboveground biomass when associated with Ponderosa pines. It morphologically resembles the European species Suillus variegatus.

Suillus as a genus is one of the most common ectomycorrhizal symbionts of the pine family (Pinaceae) in the northern hemisphere. Commonly known as ‘Slippery Jacks’, the mushrooms of this genus provide food for both wildlife and humans. Suillus species have been used in forest restoration following natural and human-made disturbances, have potential for bioremediation (mycoremediation), and likely play an important role in facilitating soil carbon sequestration in mycorrhizal forests.

This genome is part of the Community Science Program (Proposal 502931) “A genome atlas of the ectomycorrhizal genus Suillus: Phylogenetic diversity and population genomics of a keystone guild of symbiotic forest fungi”, a collaborative effort aimed at using genomics data to understand and connect the evolutionary history, ecology, and genomic mechanisms of mutualistic ectomycorrhizal symbionts and their Pinaceae hosts. Please contact the PI for permission prior to the use of any data in publications.

References:

Nguyen NH, Vellinga EC, Bruns TD, Kennedy PG. 2016. Phylogenetic assessment of global Suillus ITS sequences supports morphologically defined species and reveals synonymous and undescribed taxa. Mycologia 108:1216–1228, doi:10.3852/16-106.