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Suillus punctipes
Suillus punctipes photographed by Walter Sturgeon.

Suillus punctipes

Suillus punctipes is a mutualistic ectomycorrhizal mushroom-forming fungus that exchanges soil mineral nutrients for photosynthates from its tree host. It is a host specialist, forming associations with trees in the genus Pinus subgenus Strobus. It is native to eastern North America and probably occurs throughout the range of Pinus strobus, although is more rarely collected than other Suillus species occurring with the same host. Crafts & Miller (1974) showed that this species produces trans-zeatin and ribosyl-trans-zeatin, two cytokinins that are suggested to play an important role in root cortical cell development and thus facilitate the invasion of the fungus as well as protection of the site from other fungi.

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:

Crafts CB, Miller CO. 1974. Detection and Identification of Cytokinins Produced by Mycorrhizal Fungi. Plant Physiol. 54:586–588, doi:10.1104/pp.54.4.586.