Pleurotus eryngii ATCC 90797 v1.0
Pleurotus eryngii ATCC 90797 photo by Dr. José María Barrasa (J.M. Barrasa)
Pleurotus eryngii ATCC 90797 photo by Dr. José María Barrasa (J.M. Barrasa)

Pleurotus eryngii (DC.) Quél., commonly known as “king trumpet mushroom” is an edible fungus living saprobic or weakly parasitic on roots of herbaceous Apiaceae family plants (such as Eryngium campestre), at the contrary to other Pleurotus species such as Pleurotus ostreatus (the "oyster mushroom”), which is a white-rot wood decay fungus. P. eryngii is characterized by its cream to ochraceous brown, flabelliform to deeply depressed pileus and decurrent (sometimes anastomosing) gills and excentric to lateral (rarely central) stipe. The family Pleurotaceae belongs to the pluteoid clade of the order Agaricales (Matheny et al., 2006). P. eryngii is widely distributed in Mediterranean and central areas of Europe, some parts of west Asia and North Africa (Hilber, 1997). Due to mild taste and pleasant odor P. eryngii is of commercial interest. Moreover, mycelium is frequently cultivated on lignocellulosic wastes (such as wheat straw), and fruit bodies are and commercialized throughout the world.

Interestingly, P. eryngii is able to degrade lignin selectively when growing on nonwoody lignocellulosic materials (as described for Ceriporiopsis subvermispora when growing on wood) being of biotechnological interest for biopulping (Camarero et al., 1998) and other delignification applications (such as bioethanol production). Versatile peroxidase (representing the third ligninolytic peroxidase family) and aryl-alcohol oxidase (an enzyme providing hydrogen peroxide to peroxidases) were discovered in this fungus (Camarero et al. 1999; Guillén et al., 1992; Ruiz-Dueñas et al. 1999) and then largely characterized. The comparative genomic analysis of P. eryngii (an herbaceous plant litter decay fungus) with the wood decay P. ostreatus (already sequenced by JGI), will provide the opportunity to compare the lignocellulolytic enzymatic machinery of two closely taxonomically related species with different lifestyles (and selective vs simultaneous lignin degradation patterns).


Camarero, S., Barrasa, J.M., Pelayo, M., and Martínez, A.T. (1998). Evaluation of Pleurotus species for wheat-straw biopulping. Journal of Pulp and Paper Science, 24(7): 197-203. Camarero, S., Sarkar, S., Ruiz-Dueñas, F.J., Martínez, M.J. and Martínez, A.T. (1999). Description of a versatile peroxidase involved in the natural degradation of lignin that has both manganese peroxidase and lignin peroxidase substrate interaction sites. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 274(15): 10324-10330.

Guillén, F., Martínez, A.T. and Martínez, M.J. (1992). Substrate specificity and properties of the aryl-alcohol oxidase from the ligninolytic fungus Pleurotus eryngii. Eur. J. Biochemistry, 209: 603-611.

Hilber, O. (1997). The genus Pleurotus (Fr.) Kummer (2). Erschienen im Selbstverlag, Kelheim. Matheny, P.B., Curtis, J.M., Hofstetter, V., Aime, M.C., Moncalvo, J.M., Ge, Z.W., Yang, Z.L., Slot, J.C., Ammirati, J.F., Baroni, T.J., Bougher, N.L., Hughes, K.W., Lodge, D.J., Kerrigan, R.W., Seidl, M.T., Aanen, D.K., DeNitis, M., Daniele, G.M., Desjardin, D.E., Kropp, B.R., Norvell, L.L., Parker, A., Vellinga, E.C., Vilgalys, R. and Hibbett, D.S., (2006). Major clades of Agaricales: a multilocus phylogenetic overview. Mycologia, 98(6), 982-995.

Ruiz-Dueñas, F.J., Martínez, M.J. and Martínez, A. T. (1999). Molecular characterization of a novel peroxidase isolated from the ligninolytic fungus Pleurotus eryngii. Molecular Microbiology, 31(1): 223-235.