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Suillus grisellus
Suillus grisellus photographed by Nhu Nguyen, September 27, 2014. Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Minnesota.

Suillus grisellus is an ectomycorrhizal mushroom-forming fungus. The species associates with Larix laricina (Eastern Larch) hosts where it exchanges mineral nutrients for photosynthates from its host. The species appears to be associated with more mature stands of L. laricina. It appears to have a broad range of distribution in eastern North America, following the distribution of its Larix hosts (Nguyen et al. 2016). The species has low protease activity despite growing in a high organic matter substrate (Rineau et al. 2016). Its low melanin content makes it easily degradable once the tissue dies and is one of the fungi whose tissue will have a high turn-over rate in a warming climate (Fernandez et al. 2019).

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:

Fernandez CW, Keckman K, Kolka R, Kennedy PG. 2019. Melanin mitigates the accelerated decay of mycorrhizal necromass with peatland warming. Ecology Letters 22:498–505, doi:10.1111/ele.13209.

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.

Rineau F, Stas J, Nguyen NH, Kuyper TW, Carleer R, Vangronsveld J, Colpaert JV, Kennedy PG. 2016. Ectomycorrhizal fungal protein degradation ability predicted by soil organic nitrogen availability. Applied Environmental Microbiology 82:1391–1400, doi:10.1128/AEM.03191-15.