North American matsutake: names clarified and a new species described Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Tricholoma matsutake, known widely as "matsutake," has great commercial and cultural significance in Japan. Because Japanese production is insufficient to meet the high domestic demand, morphologically similar mushrooms, thought by many to belong to T. magnivelare, are imported from western North America. However, molecular data produced since the early 2000s have indicated that more than one species of matsutake occur in North America and this raises the question of correct naming for the different species. To address this question, we assessed the phylogenetic diversity within North American matsutake based on nuc rDNA ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 (internal transcribed spacer [ITS] barcode) sequences, including newly obtained sequences from the type collections for Agaricus ponderosus and Armillaria arenicola, and morphological characters. Our results agree with earlier indications that three matsutake species occur in North America and allow us to clarify the correct application of names-T. magnivelare from the eastern USA and Canada, T. murrillianum from the western USA and Canada, and T. mesoamericanum from Mexico, newly described here. The existence of the three North American species is further supported by the results of evolutionary divergence analysis, geographical distributions, and morphological characters.


  • Trudell, Steven A
  • Xu, Jianping
  • Saar, Irja
  • Justo, Alfredo
  • Cifuentes, Joaquin

publication date

  • May 4, 2017