Lentinellus vulpinus AHS73672-sp v1.0
Photo credit: <a href="http://sienet.luontonetti.com/en/sivut/lentinellus_vulpinus2.htm">Raija Tuomainen </a>
Photo credit: Raija Tuomainen

Lentinellus vulpinus

We have sequenced the genome of Lentinellus vulpinus as part of the ongoing 1000 Fungal Genomes Project. Lentinellus belongs to the Russulales, a species-rich order of mostly ectomycorrhizal Agaricomycetes with diverse nutritional strategies and fruiting body morphologies. In contrast to most of the species (Russula and Lactarius spp.) of the order, basal lineages, including Lentinellus spp are wood-decayers. They cause white rot on dead parts of various deciduous trees, often appearing on trunks and major fallen branches of the tree. The diagnostic features of Lentinellus spp. include the pleurotoid fruiting body, a white spore print and uneven, gill edge, resembling a saw.

Lentinellus represents an independent origin of gilled mushrooms in the Russulales. It forms kidney-shaped, laterally stalked, astipitate or irregularly lobed fruiting bodies with a gilled spore-bearing surface. Its fruiting body morphology represents a transitional state between simple Agaricomycete fruiting bodies and complex, agaricoid fruiting bodies most widely known as mushrooms. Within the Auriscalpiaceae, Lentinellus is closely related to the genera Auriscalpium and Clavicorona, two genera with simpler fruiting body morphologies and already sequenced genomes. This combination provides a great framework for investigating evolutionary transitions in fruiting body morphologies and the genetic bases of fruiting body development in mushroom-forming fungi.