Back to the
Ecology and Evolution of Amanita thiersii and Amanita muscaria
Amanita thiersii is a saprotrophic basidiomycete found in lawns throughout the midwestern United States. Amanita muscaria forms ectomycorrhizal symbioses with plants. Sequencing the genomes of these closely related species will teach us about the different genetic architectures of asymbiotic and symbiotic organisms, and may also help us to develop clean energy technologies.
The Department of Energy explains the connection between thiersii and clean energy and the A. thiersii genome is now public. DOE Joint Genome Institute also describes research with ectomycorrhizal fungi, including A. muscaria.
If you’re curious to know more about A. thiersii or our research on symbiotic genomes, you may want to read one of our papers:
Wolfe BE, M Kuo, A Pringle. 2012. Amanita thiersii is a saprotrophic fungus expanding its range in the United States. Mycologia 104: 22-33 [download]
Wolfe BE, RE Tulloss, A Pringle. 2012. The irreversible loss of a decomposition pathway marks the single origin of an ectomycorrhizal symbiosis. PLoS ONE 7(7): e39597. [download]
Collaborate / Send us specimens of A. thiersii
If you collect A. thiersii we’d be interested to know about it. We are also hoping to develop additional cultures for the A. thiersii genome project. If you collect fresh mushrooms and are willing to share, please follow these instructions below.
Instructions for Collecting & Shipping Amanita thiersii:
Collect 3-5 mushrooms. Make sure they have recently emerged and are fresh. Mushrooms that have been heavily rained on or appear to have insects thriving in the gills are not good for culturing.
We've found that you can ship the mushrooms by carefully placing newspaper and other soft materials around them in a box. Putting large plastic yogurt containers or other containers around individual mushrooms can help keep them from getting crushed. Putting a small frozen ice pack in with the package keeps it cool during shipping.
Once the mushrooms are packed, please ship the mushrooms FedEx Priority Overnight. On the FedEx Airbill, put our FedEx Account # in the Payment area ("Bill to: Recipient") so we get charged for shipping. Please email me or call me (617-496-9741) for our Account #. Please send them on a Monday thru Wednesday - we can't get packages at the lab on Saturdays.
Please FedEx the package to this address:
If you could take photos of the site and notes about the habitat, that would be helpful as well.
Pringle Laboratory, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138