Russula

Russula
Enlarge picture
The Sickener (R. emetica)

The Sickener (R. emetica)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Fungi
Division:Basidiomycota
Class:Homobasidiomycetes
Subclass:Hymenomycetes
Order:Russulales
Family:Russulaceae
Genus:Russula


Around 750 worldwide species of mycorrhizal mushrooms compose the genus Russula. They are typically common, fairly large, and brightly colored - making them one of the most recognizable genera among mycologists and mushroom collectors. Their distinguishing characteristics include a white to dark yellow spore print, brittle free white gills, and an absence of partial veil or volva tissue on the stem. Members of the related Lactarius genus have similar characteristics but emit a milky latex when their gills are broken.

Identification

Like the genus Lactarius, Russulas have a distinctive flesh consistency, which is also reflected in the appearance of the gills and stipe, and normally makes them immediately recognizable. They have no trace of a veil (no ring, nor patches on the cap). The gills are brittle except in a few cases, and cannot be bent parallel with the cap without breaking. The spore powder varies from white to cream, or even orange.

While it is relatively easy to identify a sample mushroom as belonging to this genus, it is a significant challenge to distinguish member species of Russula. This task often requires microscopic characters, and subtle subjective distinctions, such as the difference between a mild to bitter and a mild to acrid flavor. Moreover the exact phylogenetic relationships of these mushrooms have yet to be resolved in the professional mycological community, and may ultimately depend on DNA sequencing analysis.

Enlarge picture
The Sickener (Russula emetica)
The following characteristics are often important in identifying individual species:
  • the exact colour of the spore powder (white/cream/ochre),
  • the taste (mild/bitter/acrid),
  • colour changes in the flesh,
  • the distance from the centre to which the cap skin can be pulled off,
  • cap colour (but this is often very variable within one species),
  • reaction of the flesh to ferrous sulphate (FeSO4), formalin, alkalis, and other chemicals,
  • ornamentation of the spores, and
  • other microscopic characteristics, such as the appearance of the cystidia in various mounting reagents.
Despite the difficulty in positively identifying collected specimens, the possibility to spot the toxic species by their acrid taste makes some of the mild species, such as R. cyanoxantha and R.. vesca, popular edible mushrooms. As far as is known, no species of Russula is deadly poisonous and mild-tasting ones are all edible. [1] Note that this rule applies only to Russulas and not to other types of mushrooms!

Species

For more examples, see the List of Russula species.
  • Russula cyanoxantha - one of the biggest species, with blue to greenish cap, mild taste and white, greasy gills.
  • Russula emetica - so acrid it can be dried and powdered to make a chilli pepper substitute;
  • Russula virescens - an excellent mushroom, easily recognizable by the green and distinctly crackled cap cuticle;
  • Russula xerampelina - an edible russula that smells and tastes like shrimp or seafood;

See also

References

  • Arora, D. (1986). Mushrooms demystified: A comprehensive guide to the fleshy fungi, Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. pp. 83-103.
  • Kibby, G. & Fatto, R. (1990). Keys to the species of Russula in northeastern North America, Somerville, NJ: Kibby-Fatto Enterprises. 70 pp.
  • Weber, N. S. & Smith, A. H. (1985). A field guide to southern mushrooms, Ann Arbor: U Michigan P. 280 pp.
  • Moser, M. (1978) Basidiomycetes II: Röhrlinge und Blätterpilze, Gustav Fischer Verlag Stuttgart. English edition: Keys to Agarics and Boleti... published by Roger Phillips, London.
  • Partly translated from .

External links

Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. Scientific classification also can be called scientific taxonomy, but should be distinguished from folk taxonomy, which lacks scientific basis.
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Eukarya
Whittaker & Margulis, 1978
(unranked) Opisthokonta

Kingdom: Fungi
(L., 1753) R.T. Moore, 1980[1]

Subkingdom/Phyla

Chytridiomycota
Blastocladiomycota

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Basidiomycota
R.T. Moore, 1980[1]

Subphyla/Classes

Pucciniomycotina
Ustilaginomycotina
Agaricomycotina
Incertae sedis (no phylum)
Wallemiomycetes
Entorrhizomycetes




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Agaricomycetes includes the so-called "true" mushrooms and a common name for this group of some 16,000 described species is the mushroom-forming fungi (53% of the described basidiomycetes).
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Hymenomycetes are a class of fungi within the phylum basidiomycota. It contains the orders Agaricales, Boletales, and Russulales.

Formerly a taxonomic group of basidiomycetes, now understood as polyphyletic assemblage of basidiomycetes, the term refers to fungi with fruit
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Russulales

Families

Auriscalpiaceae Bondarzewiaceae Echinodontiaceae Gloeocystidiellaceae Hericiaceae Hybogasteraceae Lachnocladiaceae Peniophoraceae Russulaceae Stephanosporaceae Stereaceae

The Russulales
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Russulaceae

Russulaceae is a family of fungi in the order Russulales. Its species have typically friable, chalk-like stalks, that break with a distinct crack, like a carrot but with porous flesh (see below).
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spore print of a mushroom is an important diagnostic character in most handbooks for identifying mushrooms. A spore print is made by placing the spore-producing surface flat on a sheet of dark and white (or just white) paper . The mushroom is left overnight in this manner.
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A gill, or lamella, is one of the papery ribs under the cap of a mushroom, most often but not always an agaric. As fungi are studied in more detail, several other types of fungi exhibit gills while not members of the Agaricales.
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Partial veil is a mycological term which describes a structure of some mushrooms which protects the developing gills or other spore-producing surface. A partial veil, in contrast to a universal veil, is attached to the stipe (stalk) and edge of the pileus (cap).
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The universal veil is a mycological term to describe a structure that envelops all or most of some gilled mushrooms. The young, developing button mushroom, which may resemble a puffball at this point, is protected by this egg-like structure.
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Lactarius

Species

Main article: List of Lactarius species
(approx. 400 species worldwide)

Fungi of the genus Lactarius, sometimes called milk-caps
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phylogenetics (Greek: phyle = tribe, race and genetikos = relative to birth, from genesis = birth) is the study of evolutionary relatedness among various groups of organisms (e.g., species, populations).
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The term DNA sequencing encompasses biochemical methods for determining the order of the nucleotide bases, adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine, in a DNA oligonucleotide.
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A cystidium (plural cystidia) is a relatively large cell found on the hymenium of a basidiomycete (for example, on the surface of a mushroom gill), often between clusters of basidia.
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Russula cyanoxantha

Russula cyanoxantha


Scientific classification

Kingdom: Fungus

Division: Basidiomycota

Class: Homobasidiomycetes
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Russula

Species: R. vesca

Binomial name
Russula vesca
Fr.
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This is a list of Russula species. After the species name, the name of the person originally describing and classifying the species, and the common name are listed.
  • R. acetolens
  • R. acrifolia Romagn.
  • R. adusta Fr.
  • R.

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Russula cyanoxantha

Russula cyanoxantha


Scientific classification

Kingdom: Fungus

Division: Basidiomycota

Class: Homobasidiomycetes
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Russula

Species: R. emetica

Binomial name
Russula emetica
(Schaeff.: Fr.) Pers.
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The chili pepper, or more simply just "chili", is the fruit of the plants from the Genus Capsicum and the nightshade family, Solanaceae.

The name, which is spelled differently in many regions (chili, chile or chilli
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Russula

Species: R. virescens

Binomial name
Russula virescens
(Schaeff.) Fr.
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Russula

Species: R. xerampelina

Binomial name
'Russula xerampelina''
(Schaeff.) Fr. (R. erythropus Pelt.
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Mushroom hunting or mushrooming is the activity of searching for mushrooms in the wild, typically for eating. It is popular in most of Europe, from the Nordic, Baltic and Slavic countries (see mushroom picking in Slavic culture) to western North America (particularly from
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MeSH D009145 Mushroom poisoning refers to symptoms that can vary from slight gastrointestinal discomfort to death resulting from ingestion of toxic substances present in a mushroom. The toxins present are metabolic byproducts produced by the fungus.
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