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Suillus variegatus
Suillus variegatus sporocarps photographed by Joske Ruytinx, October 30th 2018, in Zolder, Belgium.

Suillus variegatus

Suillus variegatus (Sw.) Richon & Roze is a mutualistic ectomycorrhizal mushroom-forming fungus that exchanges soil mineral nutrients for photosynthates from its host. The species prefers sandy, acidic soils. It is native to Europe but its range extends into Asia. In Scandinavian mature pine forests S. variegatus is the dominant bolete (Dahlberg, 1997). As a species associated with late succession of pine forests, it has a high proteolytic capacity to mobilize organic nitrogen (Rineau et al., 2016). In radioactive contaminated areas, fruiting bodies of the species accumulate radio-cesium. Yet, a large variation in 137Cs activity exist between individual sporocarps (Dahlberg et al., 1997). The species is able to tolerate Cu, Cd and Zn (Blaudez et al., 2000).

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.


Blaudez D., Jacob C., Turnau K., Colpaert J.V., Ahonen-Jonnarth U., Finlay R., Botton B., Chalot M. 2000. Differential responses of ectomycorrhizal fungi to heavy metals in vitro. Mycological research 104: 1366-71.

Dahlberg A. 1997. Population ecology of Suillus variegatus in old Swedish Scots pine forests. Mycological Research 101: 47-54.

Dahlberg A., Nikolova I., Johanson K.J. 1997. Intraspecific variation in 137Cs activity concentration in sporocarps of Suillus variegatus in seven Swedish populations. Mycological Research 101: 545-51.

Rineau F., Stas J. Nguyen N., Kuyper T.W., Carleer R., Vangronsveld J., Colpaert J.V., Kennedy P.G. 2016. Fungal protein degradation ability predicted by soil organic nitrogen availability. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 82: 1391-1400.

Genome Reference(s)