Morphotype Descriptions of Common Ectomycorrhizae Fungi
Marty Kranabetter and Jodi Friesen

Ecological studies of ectomycorrhiza are often frustrating because of our inability to name many of the fungal species found on root systems.  We hope to improve our ecological studies by repeatedly sampling root systems next to fruiting bodies, allowing us to match morphotypes with mushroom species.  Our descriptions differ from most other sources because we rely on root ‘squashes’ when we process the thousands of tips typical of an ectomycorrhiza study.  For example, we sometimes have less detail about inner mantles if the outer mantle or emanating hyphae obscures these features in a root squash.  Nevertheless, we have found each species has enough distinct characteristics to differentiate between them.  The ectomycorrhizae species listed in the table below are linked to Adobe PDF files that provides photographs and line drawings which clarify mantle features.  Each of the pages can be printed on legal size paper (11 x 14 inches).  This project is an ongoing one, which we will update occasionally with new descriptions (and hopefully few corrections to previous descriptions), and eventually we hope to add DNA analysis.  If you have any questions, concerns or comments about the content of this page, please contact Marty Kranabetter.

July 2004 Update.  Dr. Keith Egger of the University of Northern British Columbia has found good matches in RFLP patterns between the sporocarps and root tips for almost all of the species listed.  A correction was made for Leccinum aurantiacum, and further testing of genetic matches is ongoing.

A full explanation of the terms used in our descriptions can be found in the following sources:

Agerer R. 1988.  Colour Atlas of Ectomycorrhizae.  Einhorn-Verlag Eduard Dietenberger, Munich.

Goodman, D.M., Durall, D.M., Trofymow, J.A., and Berch, S.M. (eds.). 1996. A manual of concise descriptions of North American ectomycorrhizae: including microscopic and molecular characterization. Mycologue Publications, Sidney, British Columbia.

Ingleby K, Mason P.A., Last F.T., Fleming L.V. 1990. Identification of Ectomycorrhizas. ITE Research Publication No. 5. HMSO, London. 112 p.

Amanita porphyria Lactarius resimus
Cantharellus infundibuliformis Lactarius rufus
Chroogomphus tomentosus Lactarius scrobiculatus
Cortinarius armillatus Lactarius uvidus
Cortinarius cinnamomeus Leccinum aurantiacum
Cortinarius cotoneus Rozites caperata
Cortinarius croceus Russula aeruginea
Cortinarius semisanguineus Russula claroflava
Cortinarius subscaurus Russula decolorans
Cortinarius vibratilis Russula emetica
Hebeloma crustiliniforme Russula occidentalis
Hygrophorus camarophyllus Russula xerampelina
Hygrophorus piceae Sarcodon imbricatus
Hygrophorus saxatilis Suillus tomentosus
Inocybe lanuginosa Unknown ‘glass shards’
Laccaria laccata Unknown ‘green globs’
Lactarius pseudomucidus
July 2004: New Morphotype Descriptions
Amanita muscaria Laccaria bicolor
Chroogumphus rutilus Lactarius deliciosus
Cortinarius muscigenus Suillus brevipes
Hygrophorus bakerensis Tricholoma virgatum

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