Russula brevipes BPL707 v1.0
Russula brevipes
Russula brevipes (actual genome source) by Brian P. Looney

Russula brevipes Peck

This genome was sequenced as part of the JGI CSP Deep Sequencing of Dikarya and more specifically as a part of the Russulaceae Sequencing Project (RSP), which seeks to densely sample members of a diverse lineage of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi to examine functional diversity of ECM fungi with a shared evolutionary history. Researchers who wish to publish analyses using data from unpublished RSP genomes are respectfully required to contact the PI and JGI to avoid potential conflicts on data use and coordinate other publications with the RSP master paper(s). This genome was derived from sporocarps and may be subject to xenobiotic contamination.

Russula brevipes is a North American species closely related to Russula delica in a group of Russula species resembling members of Lactarius, with white-to-yellow cap colors staining sordid yellow-to-umber in age, whose flesh is compact and unchanging in color, with abundant lamellulae, and having a blue-green reaction to the application of iron salts. This group is part of the Delica clade, which is the sister clade to the rest of Russula (Looney et al. 2016). Nomenclatural confusion has resulted in many collections of R. bevipes being misidentified, and it is likely that the true R. brevipes is an eastern North American species primarily associated with conifers. A species identified as R. brevipes from Wyoming has been subjected to population studies showing that genets of this group are large (many 3m wide and up to 18m wide) and long-lived (up to 11 years). Population structure of this R. brevipes species differed between host plants, with higher genotypic diversity with Picea sitchensis than Pinus contorta ssp. latifolia (Bergmann & Miller 2002). Like many species in Russulaceae, novel compounds including sesquiterpenes have been isolated from R. brevipes (Suri et al. 1997). Ecologically, R. brevipes has been singled out as an important host for Monotropa uniflora, a mycoheterotrophic plant found in eastern and western North America (Bidartondo & Bruns 2001). It is also the primary host of Hypomyces lactifluorum, an ascomycetous mold that together make up the “lobster mushroom,” an edible “fungus” with much commercial potential (Rochon et al. 2009). Spores of R. brevipes have also been demonstrated to germinate in planta with Pinus radiata and P. patula (Martinez-Amores et al. 1990). This species is a representative of an important group of Russula species representing the sister lineage to the rest of Russula and will be important for understanding the evolution of functional diversity of Russulaceae.


Bergemann, S.E. and Miller, S.L., 2002. Size, distribution, and persistence of genets in local populations of the late-stage ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete, Russula brevipes. New Phytologist, 156(2), pp.313-320.

Bidartondo, M.I. and Bruns, T.D., 2001. Extreme specificity in epiparasitic Monotropoideae (Ericaceae): widespread phylogenetic and geographical structure. Molecular Ecology, 10(9), pp.2285-2295.

Looney, B.P., Ryberg, M., Hampe, F., Sánchez-García, M. and Matheny, P.B., 2015. Into and out of the tropics: global diversification patterns in a hyper-diverse clade of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Molecular ecology,25(2), pp.630-647.

Martinez-Amores, E., Valdes, M. and Quintos, M., 1990. Seedling growth and ectomycorrhizal colonization of Pinus patula and P. radiata inoculated with spores of Helvella lacunosa, Russula brevipes or Lycoperdon perlatum. New forests, 4(4), pp.237-245.

Rochon, C., Pare, D., Khasa, D.P. and Fortin, J.A., 2009. Ecology and management of the lobster mushroom in an eastern Canadian jack pine stand. Canadian journal of forest research, 39(11), pp.2080-2091.

Suri, O.P., Shah, R., Satti, N.K. and Suri, K.A., 1997. Russulactarorufin, a lactarane skeleton sesquiterpene from Russula brevipes. Phytochemistry,45(7), pp.1453-1455.