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Suillus tomentosus
Suillus tomentosus photographed by Nhu Nguyen, August 14, 2014. Colorado, near type locality of the species.

Suillus tomentosus

Suillus tomentosus Singer is an ectomycorrhizal mushroom-forming fungus in the family Boletaceae. The species associates with Pinus hosts in the subgenus Pinus where it exchanges mineral nutrients for photosynthates from its host. It is native to North America and has one of the most widespread distributions in the genus, occurring in both Eastern and Western North America (Nguyen et al. 2016). The species is most commonly found in higher latitudes and/or altitudes in mature forests. Its spores have been shown to last for one year within dried deer fecal pellet (Ashkannejhad & Horton 2006) indicating its ability to form sporebanks that can lie dormant in soils to inoculate future seedlings. It makes tuberculate mycorrhizal structures that house nitrogen-fixing bacteria and may provide a small amount of fixed nitrogen to the plant-fungal partnership (Paul et al. 2007).

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 man-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.


Ashkannejhad S, Horton TR. 2006. Ectomycorrhizal ecology under primary succession on coastal sand dunes: Interactions involving Pinus contorta, suilloid fungi and deer. New Phytol. 169:345–354, doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2005.01593.x.

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.

Paul LR, Chapman BK, Chanway CP. 2007. Nitrogen fixation associated with Suillus tomentosus tuberculate ectomycorrhizae on Pinus contorta var. latifolia. Ann Bot. 99:1101–1109, doi:10.1093/aob/mcm061.

Genome Reference(s)