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Fungal Biol. 2014 Sep-Oct;118(9-10):814-34. doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2014.07.001. Epub 2014 Jul 15.

A reappraisal of the Pleurotus eryngii complex - new species and taxonomic combinations based on the application of a polyphasic approach, and an identification key to Pleurotus taxa associated with Apiaceae plants.

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Agricultural University of Athens, Laboratory of General and Agricultural Microbiology, Iera Odos 75, 11855 Athens, Greece. Electronic address:
Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Environmental Engineering, Laboratory of Wastewater Management and Treatment Technologies, Vas. Sofias 12, 67100 Xanthi, Greece.
Università di Palermo, Department of Agricultural and Forest Sciences, Viale delle Scienze, 11, 90128 Palermo, Italy.
John Innes Centre, Department of Disease and Stress Biology, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK.
Agricultural University of Athens, Laboratory of General and Agricultural Microbiology, Iera Odos 75, 11855 Athens, Greece.
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, Panepistemiopolis, Athens 15701, Greece.


The Pleurotus eryngii species-complex comprises choice edible mushrooms growing on roots and lower stem residues of Apiaceae (umbellifers) plants. Material deriving from extensive sampling was studied by mating compatibility, morphological and ecological criteria, and through analysis of ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 and IGS1 rRNA sequences. Results revealed that P. eryngii sensu stricto forms a diverse and widely distributed aggregate composed of varieties elaeoselini, eryngii, ferulae, thapsiae, and tingitanus. Pleurotuseryngii subsp. tuoliensis comb. nov. is a phylogenetically sister group to the former growing only on various Ferula species in Asia. The existence of Pleurotusnebrodensis outside of Sicily (i.e., in Greece) is reported for the first time on the basis of molecular data, while P. nebrodensis subsp. fossulatus comb. nov. is a related Asiatic taxon associated with the same plant (Prangos ferulacea). Last, Pleurotusferulaginis sp. nov. grows on Ferulago campestris in northeast Italy, Slovenia and Hungary; it occupies a distinct phylogenetic position accompanied with significant differences in spore size and mating incompatibility versus other Pleurotus populations. Coevolution with umbellifers and host/substrate specificity seem to play key roles in speciation processes within this fungal group. An identification key to the nine Pleurotus taxa growing in association with Apiaceae plants is provided.


Co-evolution of plants and fungi; Fungal phylogeny; Pleurotus eryngii subsp. tuoliensis comb. nov.; Pleurotus ferulaginis sp. nov.; Pleurotusnebrodensis subsp. fossulatus comb. nov.

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