Thursday 26 January 2023

Chroogomphus conacytiensis & Chroogomphus flavovinaceus: Two new species of edible Mushroom from Mexico.

The genus Chroogomphus currently comprises eleven species of Pine-associated Mushrooms from across the Northern Hemisphere. These Mushrooms are often prized as a food-source, particularly in eastern Asia, and are considered to be pharmacologically important, having been shown to produce drugs with antioxidant potential, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, antidiabetic and antitumor properties. These Mushrooms are also eaten in Mexico, where all are referred to a single species, Chroogomphus jamaicensis, but this is unlikely to reflect the true diversity of the group here, as the genus is known to be represented by several different species in the United States.

In a paper published in the journal Phytokeys on 24 January 2023, Jesús Pérez-Moreno and Magdalena Martínez-Reyes, of the Colegio de Posgraduados at Campus Montecillo, César Ramiro Martínez-Gonzáles of the Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Victoria of the Tecnológico Nacional de México, and Elisettte Ramírez-Carbajal, Anaitzi Carrera-Martínez. Javier Isaac de la Fuente, Joan Windhoek Olvera-Noriega, and Olivia Ayala-Vásquez, also of the Colegio de Posgraduados at Campus Montecillo describe two new species of edible Mushrooms in the genus Chroogomphus, from central and southwestern Mexico.

Pérez-Moreno et al. collected Mushrooms during the rainy seasons (June-September) of 2021 and 2022, in mixed Conifer and mixed Pine-Oak and Oak-Pine forests on the Transverse Neovolcanic Mexican Axis in the states of Mexico and Tlaxcala, as well as Hartweg's Pine forests in the Mixe Culture Region of Oaxaca State. The relationships between these and other members of the genus were then esablished following DNA extraction and analysis, in order to confirm that the samples do, in fact, represent new species. 

The first new species is named Chroogomphus conacytiensis, where 'conacytiensis', in reference to the Mexican Council of Science and Technology (abbreviated to CONACYT in Spanish). This species produces slightly velvety brown, brownish yellow, brownish olive, greyish, or grey in colour, bruising to reddish brown or wine-coloured. These Mushrooms are 23–35 mm in diameter, and convex aging to dome-shaped. The underside of the Mushroom has orange-yellow, slightly serrated lamellae ('gills'), the stipe ('stem') is 23-70 mm long and 1-14 mm wide, and orange, yellow-orange, or pale orange in colout, becoming grayish to wine-coloured when cut. 

Chroogomphus conacytiensis, General view of basidiomata. Pérez-Moreno et al. (2023).

Chroogomphus conacytiensis was found growing in mixed Pine-Oak forests at altitudes of between 2900 and 3000 m above sealevel, where it forms ectomycorrhizal associations with Smooth-barked Mexican Pine, Pinus pseudostrobus, and Hartweg's Pine, Pinus hartwegii. The species is known only from central and southwestern Mexico.

The second new species is named Chroogomphus flavovinaceus, where 'flavovinaceus' means 'yellow-wine-coloured', in reference to the colour change observed when the Mushrooms are touched. These Mushrooms are 25-45 mm in diameter and convex maturing to planar-convex. They are a citrus-yellow or pale orange in colour, darkening to a wine-colour when touched, The underside of the Mushroom has yellow lamellae. The stipe 18-31 mm long and 7-24 mm wide, and is also citrus-yellow or pale orange in colour, darkening to a wine-colour when touched,

Chroogomphus flavovinaceus. Context of basidiomata. Pérez-Moreno et al. (2023).

Chroogomphus flavovinaceusI was found growing in Oak-Pine forests in Mexico and Michoacán states, where it forms ectomycorrhizal associations with the Chihuahua Pine, Pinus leiophylla.

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