Russulaceae: a new genomic dataset to study ecosystem function and evolutionary diversification of ectomycorrhizal fungi with their tree associates.


Journal Article (Review)

The family Russulaceae is considered an iconic lineage of mostly mushroom-forming basidiomycetes due to their importance as edible mushrooms in many parts of the world, and their ubiquity as ectomycorrhizal symbionts in both temperate and tropical forested biomes. Although much research has been focused on this group, a comprehensive or cohesive synthesis by which to understand the functional diversity of the group has yet to develop. Interest in ectomycorrhizal fungi, of which Russulaceae is a key lineage, is prodigious due to the important roles they play as plant root mutualists in ecosystem functioning, global carbon sequestration, and a potential role in technology development toward environmental sustainability. As one of the most species-diverse ectomycorrhizal lineages, the Russulaceae has recently been the focus of a dense sampling and genome sequencing initiative with the Joint Genome Institute aimed at untangling their functional roles and testing whether functional niche specialization exists for independent lineages of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Here we present a review of important studies on this group to contextualize what we know about its members' evolutionary history and ecosystem functions, as well as to generate hypotheses establishing the Russulaceae as a valuable experimental system.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Looney, BP; Meidl, P; Piatek, MJ; Miettinen, O; Martin, FM; Matheny, PB; Labbé, JL

Published Date

  • April 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 218 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 54 - 65

PubMed ID

  • 29381218

Pubmed Central ID

  • 29381218

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-8137

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0028-646X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/nph.15001


  • eng