Research Article
Research Article
Three new Russula species in sect. Ingratae (Russulales, Basidiomycota) from southern China
expand article infoGuo-Jie Li, Shou-Mian Li, Bart Buyck§, Shi-Yi Zhao, Xue-Jiao Xie, Lu-Yao Shi, Chun-Ying Deng|, Qing-Feng Meng, Qi-Biao Sun#, Jun-Qing Yan¤, Jing Wang|, Ming Li
‡ Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding, China
§ Sorbonne Université, Paris, France
| Institute of Biology, Guizhou Academy of sciences, Guiyang, China
¶ Zunyi Medicinal University, Zunyi, China
# Jiujiang University, Jiujiang, China
¤ Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, China
Open Access


Three new species of Russulasection Ingratae, found in Guizhou and Jiangsu Provinces, southern China, are proposed: R. straminella, R. subpectinatoides and R. succinea. Photographs, line drawings and detailed morphological descriptions for these species are provided with comparisons against closely-related taxa. Phylogenetic analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region supported the recognition of these specimens as new species. Additionally, R. indocatillus is reported for the first time from China and morphological and phylogenetic data are provided for the Chinese specimens.


Agaricomycetes, ITS, morphology, phylogeny, Russulaceae, taxonomy


Russula Pers. is a widespread genus that contains at least 2000, but possibly as many as 3000 species worldwide (Li et al. 2019; Adamčík et al. 2019; He et al. 2019). Members of this genus form symbiotic relationships with a diversity of plant species in broad-leaved and coniferous forests, scrubland and meadows. The brightly tinged pileus, abundant sphaerocytes responsible for the fragile gills and stipe, amyloid spore ornamentation, gleocystidia staining in sulpho-aldehydes, lack of clamp connections and absence of a ramifying lactifer system ending in pseudocystidia are the main morphological features of this genus (Li et al. 2015a; Buyck et al. 2018; Looney et al. 2018). Due to frequent convergence or extreme plasticity of morphological features, precise identification of Russula species is difficult and establishing accurate taxonomy is challenging (Miller and Buyck 2002; Bazzicalupo et al. 2017).

Russulasect. Ingratae Quél. is characterised by tawny, ochraceous or ashy-grey to dark brown pileus with tuberculate striate margin, acute to subacute equal lamellae, flesh with a distinct fetid, spermatic or waxy odour, or like bitter almonds, cream-coloured spore print, spores partly showing inamyloid reaction in the suprahilar area, small- to medium-sized unicellular pileocystidia and articulated and branched hyphal ends in the pileipellis (Shaffer 1972; Romagnesi 1985; Sarnari 1998). The combination of these characters makes this section one of the more easily distinguishable groups in the Russula subgenus Heterophyllidiae Romagn. Recent multi-locus phylogenetic studies indicated that this morphologically well-defined group corresponded to the earlier subsections, Foetentinae, Pectinatinae and Subvelatae, representing a natural, well-supported monophyletic clade in phylogenetic topology of the northern temperate region (Looney et al. 2016; Buyck et al. 2018). The other easily distinguishable groups of subgenus Heterophyllidiae include subsections Amoeninae, Virescentinae and Substriatinae. Phylogenetic analyses also indicated it is more difficult to match a field aspect with a single monophyletic lineage (Wang et al. 2019; Deng et al. 2020; Wisitrassameewong et al. 2020).

Compared with Europe (Romagnesi 1985; Sarnari 1998), detailed analyses of Russula sect. Ingratae in Asia began relatively late. In southern China, several species were previously misidentified, based on morphological characters, with European or North American names, such as R. foetens Pers., R. grata Britzelm. (= R. laurocerasi Melzer) and R. pectinatoides Peck (Song et al. 2007; Li 2014). Rapid progress has been made in the past two decades, resulting in 15 new Russula species in Asian Ingratae, based on modern phylogenetic methods: R. abbotensis K. Das & J.R. Sharma, R. ahmadii Jabeen et al., R. arunii S. Paloi et al., R. catillus H. Lee et al., R. dubdiana K. Das et al., R. foetentoides Razaq et al., R. gelatinosa Y. Song & L.H. Qiu, R. indocatillus Ghosh et al., R. natarajanii K. Das et al., R. obscuricolor K. Das et al., R. pseudocatillus F. Yuan & Y. Song, R. pseudopectinatoides G.J. Li & H.A. Wen, R. rufobasalis Y. Song & L.H. Qiu, R. subpunctipes J. Song and R. tsokae K. Das et al. These new species were originally described from East Asia and the adjacent Himalayan area (Das et al. 2006, 2010, 2013, 2017; Razaq et al. 2014; Li et al. 2015b; Jabeen et al. 2017; Lee et al. 2017; Song et al. 2018, 2020; Ghosh et al. 2020). The initial sequence data have supported the valid recognition of R. punctipes Singer and R. senecis Imai, but are still lacking for R. guangdongensis Z.S. Bi & T.H. Li and R. periglypta Berk & Broome (Lee et al. 2017; Song et al. 2018). Recent rDNA ITS phylogenetic analyses of R.sect. Ingratae in the Northern Hemisphere showed numerous unknown taxa and constant misidentifications of species in this group (Avis 2012; Melera et al. 2017; Park et al. 2017).

The importance of precise identification of Russula spp. in sect. Ingratae also comes from their economic value as several species are commonly sold as edible fungi in markets of southern China under the local name “You-la-gu (oily, acrid mushroom)”. Several species of R. sect. Ingratae may cause gastrointestinal problems if not properly pre-cooked (Dai et al. 2010; Bau et al. 2014; Chen et al. 2016). During recent years, several field investigations have been carried out on campuses and, in parks, natural reserves and wild mushroom markets of south-western China to unveil the species diversity of sect. Ingratae in this region. A number of Russula taxa have been discovered as new to science, based on morphological and molecular phylogenetic evidence, of which three members of R.sect. Ingratae are described and illustrated herein. Additionally, we report R. indocatillus as a new record for China.

Materials and methods

Morphological analyses

Specimens were collected in Guizhou, Jiangxi and Jiangsu Provinces from July to September in 2017 and 2018. The majority of the samplings are from Guizhou Province of south-western China. This mountainous Province lies in the eastern end of the Yungui Plateau. This region has a humid subtropical monsoon climate and is mostly covered by subtropical evergreen forests (Editorial Board of Vegetation in China 1980; Chen et al. 2020). Each of the specimens was collected from different patches of forest to avoid duplications from a single mycelium. Photographs of fresh basidiocarps were taken using a Canon Powershot G1 X Mark II digital camera in the field. Macroscopic characters were recorded at the same time under daylight. The colour codes and names from Ridgway (1912) were employed in descriptions. Specimen desiccation was accomplished in a Fruit FD-770C food dryer at a constant temperature of 65 °C over 12 h. Small tissue pieces of lamellae and pileipellis for microscopic observations were taken from dried specimens, sectioned by hand with a Dorco razor blade and rehydrated in 5% potassium hydroxide (KOH). Microscopical characters were observed using a Nikon Eclipse Ci-L photon microscope and Olympus BH2 with a drawing tube. Staining of basidiospores, mycelia and cystidia were performed by chemical reaction with Melzer’s Reagent and sulphovanillin (SV). Measurements and line drawings of basidiospores (exclusive of apiculus and spore ornamentation) and elements in hymenium, pileipellis and stipitipellis were executed from microphotographs taken at 1600× magnification with a Cossim U3CMOS14000 camera. A JSM-IT300 cold-field scanning electron microscope was used for examination of basidiospore ornamentation. At least 20 observation data were employed for each morphological character of every analysed collection. The format, α/β/γ, represented the numbers of basidiospores, basidiocarps and specimens that were measured microscopically. For those basidiospore dimensions, these were indicated as (a–) bc (–d), the extremes of the measured values (a and d) are displayed in brackets. The values of b and c are 5th and 95th percentiles when observed readings were arranged from small to large. Q is the ratio of basidiospore length to width. The Q in bold is the mean value of Q plus or minus standard deviation. The pileipellis was vertically sectioned at the edge and centre of the pileus. Shapes and sizes of basidia, cystidia and hypha were observed, measured and illustrated. For other details on microscopic observation and measurement, see Li (2014) and Adamčík et al. (2019). Exsiccatae of these new species are preserved in the Macrofungus Section, Mycological Herbarium of Guizhou Academy of Sciences (HGAS-MF), Herbarium of Hebei Agricultural University (HBAU) and Herbarium of Fungi, Jiangxi Agricultural University (HFJAU).

DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing

Tissue samples from dried specimens were ground in centrifuge tubes using abrasive rods attached to an electric drill. DNA extractions were performed using a modified CTAB method as in Li (2014). PCR reactions were carried out in a Dragonlab TC1000-G 96-well thermocycler. Sequences in the ITS region were amplified with primers ITS5 and ITS4 (White et al. 1990) using the reaction conditions of Li et al. (2019). PCR products were separated by electrophoresis on 1.2% agarose gels and stained with Biotium GelRed. The concentrations of extracted DNA and PCR products were determined by a ThermoFisher Scientific NanoDrop One spectrophotometer. Nucleotide concentration > 50 ng/μl was used as the criterion of a qualified PCR product for Sanger sequencing by GENEWIZ Inc. An ABI 3730XL DNA analyser and an Applied Biosystems Sanger sequencing kit were used following manufacturer’s procedures by Biomed Gene Technology Company (Beijing, China).

Phylogenetic analyses

Bidirectional sequencing results were assembled with MegAlign in DNAStar LaserGene 7.1 ( Low quality nucleotide sites at both ends of the sequences were trimmed. All new sequences from this study were deposited in GenBank ( The BLAST algorithm was used to search the similar sequences and for the new species. Table 1 contains closely matched ITS sequences of the new species (percent identities over 97%) retrieved from GenBank and UNITE ( databases. Sampling for the phylogenetic backbone of Russulasection Ingratae referred to Melera et al. (2017), Park et al. (2017) and Song et al. (2018). These sequences were combined with those of the new species and aligned in Mafft 7.428 with L-INS-I strategy applied (Nakamura et al. 2018). Five sequences from species of the other sections of Russula subgenus Heterophyllidiae, R. cyanoxantha (Schaeff.) Fr., R. grisea Fr., R. heterophylla (Fr.) Fr., R. ilicis Romagn. and R. substriata J. Wang et al., were chosen as out-group. The matrix file was manually optimised using BioEdit 7.0.5 (Hall 1999) and deposited in TreeBASE repository with study ID S28207 ( Phylogenetic analyses were executed using Bayesian Inference (BI), Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Maximum Parsimony (MP) methods. Bayesian analysis was performed in MrBayes 3.2.7a (Ronquist et al. 2012). Best evolutionary model selection was carried out with MrModeltest 2.4 operated on PAUP* 4.0a165 through Akaike’s Information Criteria (AIC) calculation (Nylander 2004). The calculation of posterior probabilities (PP) parameters was performed through the Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm. The sampling frequency of the trees was set as every 100th generation. One cold and three hot Markov chains were run for 2 ´ 106 generations. The analysis ceased when the average standard deviation was maintained below 0.01. A percentage of 25% trees were discarded as burn-in before the construction of the 50% majority rule consensus tree. MP analysis was conducted in PAUP* 4.0a167 (Swofford 2004). The tree bisection-reconstruction (TBR) was carried out with a heuristic search. A total of 1000 replicates were set for bootstrap support (Felsenstein 1985). The setting of maxtrees was 5000. Branches collapsed when minimum length was zero. A Kishino-Hasegawa (KH) test (Kishino and Hasegawa 1989) was executed to determine whether trees were significantly different. The consistency index (CI), homoplasy index (HI), retention index (RI), rescaled consistency index (RC) and tree length (TL) were performed in MP analysis. ML analysis was performed in raxmlGUI 1.5b3 with 1000 replicates (Silvestro and Michalak 2012). Trees were displayed and exported in FigTree 1.4.4 ( Names of species in Fig. 1 and Table 1 were cited from source databanks. Definitions for clades and complexes were also presented in Fig. 1.

Figure 1. 

Phylogenetic tree generated from Bayesian analysis of ITS sequences. Main clades corresponding to subsections of sect. Ingratae are indicated in colour blocks. Holotypes of the new species are shown in bold. Values of posterior probabilities (PP) of MrBayes (≥ 0.9) and bootstraps of ML and MP analyses (≥ 50) are presented above the nodes as (MLBS/PP/MPBS).

Table 1.

The species, specimens and GenBank accession numbers of ITS sequences analysed in this study.

Species Specimen No. Origin GenBank accession Reference
Russula aff. pilosella MEL H4784 Australia: Tasmania EU019932 Lebel and Tonkin (2007)
R. ahmadii LAH 35004 Pakistan: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa KT834638 Jabeen et al. (2017)
LAH 18081013 Pakistan: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa KU535609 Jabeen et al. (2017)
SB138 Pakistan HG796943 Jabeen (2016)
R. amerorecondita F PGA17-017 USA: Indiana MN130066 Adamčík et al. (2019)
R. ammophila MA-Fungi 51165 Spain: Huelva AJ438038 Vidal et al. (2002)
R. amoenolens TUB nl27.9.95.6 Germany AF418615 Eberhardt (2002)
MICH 12838 France KF245510
R. cf. amoenolens HMJAU37317 China: Heilongjiang KY357332 Liu et al. (2017)
R. aromatica PNW 5607 USA: Oregon AY239331
R. arunii CUH AM261 India: West Bengal KY450661 Crous et al. (2017)
R. brunneonigra DAR H5813 Australia: New South Wales EU019945 Lebel and Tonkin (2007)
R. catillus SFC 20120827-01 Korea: Daehak-dong KX574686 Lee et al. (2017)
SFC 20120919-35 Korea: Daehak-dong KX574688 Lee et al. (2017)
LHJ150915-19 China: Guangdong MK860690
R. cerolens OSC 76727 USA: Oregon KF245505
F 36 USA: California JN681168
R. cf. amoenolens MICH12838 France KF245510
R. cf. pulverulenta NYBG 4-1144IS79 USA AY061736 Miller and Buyck (2002)
R. cyanoxantha PC SM/BB 5 Europe AY061669 Miller and Buyck (2002)
R. echidna HO 593336 Australia: Tasmania MN130079 Adamčík et al. (2019)
HO 593337 Australia: Tasmania MN130080 Adamčík et al. (2019)
R. fluvialis KUO JR8666 Finland: Savonia Borealis MN130084 Adamčík et al. (2019)
KUO JR8313 Finland: Northern Savonia MN130085 Adamčík et al. (2019)
HMJAU 32234 China: Heilongjiang KX095018
R. foetens TUB hue124 Germany AF418613 Eberhardt (2002)
GENT FH-12-277 Germany: Keula KT934016 Looney et al. (2016)
HMJAU38004 China: Heilongjiang KY681438 Liu et al. (2017)
R. foetentoides LAH 04081023 Pakistan: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa HE647707 Razaq et al. (2014)
LAH 13081034 Pakistan: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa HE647708 Razaq et al. (2014)
R. foetentula 156 USA: Tennessee KJ834623 Melera et al. (2017)
128 Switzerland KJ834574 Melera et al. (2017)
R. fragrantissima 98 Italy KJ530751 Melera et al. (2017)
108 Italy KJ834596 Melera et al. (2017)
R. galbana BRIT13425 Australia: Queensland EU019936 Lebel and Tonkin (2007)
R. garyensis F PGA17-008 USA: Indiana MN130088 Adamčík et al. (2019)
R. gelatinosa K 16053119 China: Guangdong MH168574 Song et al. (2018)
K 15052626 China: Guangdong MH168575 Song et al. (2018)
R. granulata PC BB2004-226 USA: Tennessee EU598192
PC BB2004-225 USA: Tennessee EU598190
HMAS252604 China: Jilin KF850414 Li (2014)
R. grata E 00290534 UK: Scotland KF245532
TUB nl1348 Germany AF418614 Eberhardt (2002)
HMJAU38008 China: Heilongjiang KY681444 Liu et al. (2017)
R. grisea PC 2-1129IS75 Europe AY061679 Miller and Buyck (2002)
R. heterophylla PC 209RUF24 Europe AY061681 Miller and Buyck (2002)
R. hortensis IB 1997/0787 Italy HG798528
R. ilicis PC 563IC52 Europe AY061682 Miller and Buyck (2002)
R. illota MICH 73719 France KF245509
UE 26.07.2002-3 Sweden DQ422024 Eberhardt (2002)
R. inamoena 107 Italy: Punta Chiappa KJ834597 Melera et al. (2016)
109 Italy: Punta Chiappa KJ834595 Melera et al. (2016)
R. indocatillus HGAS-MF 009917 China: Guizhou MN649191 This study
HGAS-MF 009903 China: Guizhou MN649192 This study
R. indocatillus AG 18-1653 India: Uttarakhand MN581165 Ghosh et al. (2020)
R. insignis HMAS 267740 China: Heilongjiang KF850404 Li (2014)
PC Buyck 00.2149 Europe AY061700 Miller and Buyck (2002)
R. mistiformis JC170305 Spain: Castilla-Leon MK105677 Vidal et al. (2019)
AMC H-69 Spain: Castilla-Leon MK105680 Vidal et al. (2019)
R. mutabilis BHI-F384a USA: Massachusetts MF161239 Haelewaters et al. (2018)
DPL 10654 USA: Texas KF810137
R. neerimea MEL2101871 Australia: Victoria EU019915 Lebel and Tonkin (2007)
R. nondistincta OSC 62139 USA: Oregon KP859276
R. obscuricolor KD 16-30 India: Sikkim MF805816 Das et al. (2017)
KD 16-22 India: Sikkim MF805817 Das et al. (2017)
R. oleifera TU 116011 Benin UDB016936
TU 102082 Zambia UDB013811
R. ombrophila 86 Spain KF971694 Melera et al. (2016)
R. parksii Trappe 14997 USA AY239335
R. pectinata PC Buyck 2304 Europe AY061706 Miller and Buyck (2002)
2010BT02 Germany KF318081 Melera et al. (2016)
2010BT48 Germany KF318082 Melera et al. (2016)
R. pectinatoides MICH 52692 USA: Tennessee KF245518
HMAS251202 China: Yunnan JX425405 Li (2014)
NYS2303.1 USA: New York KU640189 Melera et al. (2016)
R. pila MA-Fungi 30667 Spain AF230893 Calonge and Martín (2000)
R. pilosella BRI-H5974 Australia: Queensland EU019941 Lebel and Tonkin (2007)
R. praetervisa UE 2006-11-12-01 Italy UDB019333
IB 1997-0812 Italy UDB019331
R. pseudocatillus GDGM 75338 China: Guangdong MK049974 Yuan et al. (2019)
K 15060706 China: Guangdong MK049975 Yuan et al. (2019)
R. pseudopectinatoides HMAS 265020 China: Xizang KM269079 Li et al. (2015b)
HMAS 251523 China: Xizang KM269077 Li et al. (2015b)
R. pulverulenta PC BB2004-245 USA: Tennessee EU598186
R. punctipes K 17052318 China: Guangdong MH168576 Yuan et al. (2019)
K 16051001 China: Guangdong MH168577 Yuan et al. (2019)
R. putida IB 1997/0791 Italy HG798527
R. recondita UPS AT2001049 Sweden DQ422026 Eberhardt (2002)
WGS 84 Switzerland KJ530750 Melera et al. (2016)
TU106223 Estonia: Saare maakond UDB011156
R. rufobasalis H15060622 China: Guangdong MH168567 Song et al. (2018)
H17052204 China: Guangdong MH168570 Song et al. (2018)
R. senecis SFC 20110921-18 Korea: Socho-myeon KX574698 Lee et al. (2017)
CUH AM102 India: West Bengal KP142981 Khatua et al. (2015)
R. shafferi OSC 51046 USA: Washington AY239327
R. similaris OSC 44426 USA: California AY239329
Trappe 7753 USA: Oregon AY239349
Russula sp. LHJ170913-01 China: Guangdong MK860691 Song et al. (2020)
R. straminella HGAS-MF 009920 China: Guizhou MN649194 This study
HGAS-MF 009922 China: Guizhou MN649195 This study
HGAS-MF 009925 China: Guizhou MN649189 This study
R. subfoetens HMJAU38006 China: Heilongjiang KY681430 Liu et al. (2017)
TU101908 Finland: Nilsiä UDB016206
R. subfulva Trappe 14998 USA: Oregon AY239321
R. subpectinatoides HBAU15023 China: Jiangsu MW041163 This study
HBAU15024 China: Jiangsu MW041164 This study
HBAU15025 China: Jiangsu MW041165 This study
HBAU15026 China: Jiangsu MW041166 This study
R. subpunctipes RITF 2616 China: Guangdong MK860692 Song et al. (2020)
RITF 2617 China: Guangdong MK860693 Song et al. (2020)
R. substriata HKAS 102278 China: Yunnan MH724921 Wang et al. (2019)
R. succinea HGAS-MF 009909 China: Guizhou MN649196 This study
HGAS-MF 009904 China: Guizhou MN649188 This study
HGAS-MF 009906 China: Guizhou MN649198 This study
HGAS-MF 009915 China: Guizhou MN649190 This study
R. succinea HFJAU0301 China: Jiangxi MN258682
R. ventricosipes PC 0142480 USA KY800364 Buyck et al. (2017)
R. vinaceocuticulata PDD 64246 New Zealand GU222258


Phylogenetic analyses

A total of 112 ITS sequences (107 of sect. Ingratae and 5 of out-groups), including 13 newly-generated ones, were analysed in this study. The alignment for ITS phylogenetic analyses was composed of 543 characters including gaps. Of these characters in the matrix, 266 were variable, 201 were parsimony-informative, 65 variable characters were parsimony-uninformative. The parameters of MP analysis were CI 0.444, HI 0.784, RI 0.784, RC 0.348 and TL 869. The most suitable model for BI and MP analyses is GTR+I+G.

The resulting MP, ML and BI phylograms are consistent in topology of highly supported basal ranks (Clades A, B, C, D, E, F, H and I); thus, only the MP tree is presented in Fig. 1. A total of nine complexes and 24 species rank clades can be recognised with high support values. The 11 Chinese sequences were grouped in three clades that were further described as new species of R. straminella, R. subpectinatoides and R. succinea. High bootstraps and posterior probabilities supporting these clades are distinctly independent from those of other known taxa. Clades H, F and C in Fig. 1 generally corresponded with clades 1, 4 and 3 of Lee et al. (2017), in which species in Clade 2 are represented by Clades E and I in this study. The Indian and Chinese specimens of R. indocatillus clustered together and formed a strongly supported, distinct clade (MLBS 96, PP 0.99, MPBS 89). The new species, R. straminella, formed an independent lineage in Clade F. The concrete phylogenetic status of R. straminella still remains unsolved in ITS sequence analyses. The new species R. succinea and two North American specimens were identified as R. foetentula with passable support (MPBS 58, PP 1). The new species, R. subpectinatoides, clustered with a majority of members from clade C and formed a highly supported clade (MLBS 96, PP 1, MPBS 88). The close relationship with R. pseudopectinatoides indicated in similarity searching was not supported in phylogenetic topologies.

The DNA sequence similarity search results for the ITS1–5.8S-ITS2 region of the new species are as follows: two North American specimens of gasteroid R. similaris Trappe & T.F. Elliott (AY239349 and KC152107) had the highest sequence identity (98.2%) to the new species R. straminella, then R. nondistincta Trappe & Castellano (KP859276) (98.1%); R. pseudopectinatoides (KM269079) had the highest sequence similarity (98%) to the new species R. subpectinatoides, then R. praetervisa Sarnari (95%); R. foetentula Peck (KJ834623) had the highest sequence identity (96.9%) to the new species R. succinea, then R. subfoetens W.G. Sm. (UDB016206) (94%). The Chinese collections of R. indocatillus had sequence identities of 99% to its type specimens (MN581483 and MN581165) from India.


Russula indocatillus A. Ghosh, K. Das & R.P. Bhatt, Nova Hedwigia 111(1–2): 124. 2020.

Figs 2a, 3a, 4 and 5.

Basidiomata small to medium sized. Pileus 35–46 mm in diam., hemispherical when young, then plano-convex to applanate, depressed at centre when mature, rarely infundibuliform, viscid when wet, brownish tinged, intermixed with greyish-yellow fringe, Verona Brown (XXIX13′′k), Chocolate (XXVIII7′′m), to Cinnamon Brown (XV15′k) at centre, sometimes with a tinge of Argus Brown (III13m) or Brussels Brown (III15m), Pecan Brown (XXVIII13′′i) or Hazel (XIV11′′k) when old and dry; margin acute, slightly incurved first, straight when mature, slightly undulate, often cracked, tuberculate-striate 10–15 mm from the edge inwards, peeling 1/5–1/4 towards the centre, Ochraceous Tawny (XV15′i), Mikado Brown (XXIX13′′i) or Tawny Olive (XXIX17′′i) when young, often Avellaneous (XL17′′′b), Cinnamon (XXXI15′′) to Clay Colour (XXIX17′′) when mature. Lamellae adnate, rarely sub-free, 2–5 mm in height at mid-radius of pileus, fragile, rarely forked near the stipe, interveined, pale cream tinged, White (LIII) when young, Cream Colour (XVI19′f) in age, often stained yellowish to brownish with Buckthorn Brown (XV17′i) to Yellow Ochre (XV17′); edge even, narrowing towards the pileus margin, 9–16 per cm near the pileus margin; lamellulae rare. Stipe subcentral to central, 2.5–4.7 × 1–1.4 cm, cylindrical to subclavate, rarely tapered towards the base, annulus absent, first smooth, then often longitudinally rugulose in age, White (LIII), rarely stained with brownish tinge of Aniline Yellow (IV19i) to Honey Yellow (XXX19′′), first stuffed, hollow when mature. Context 2–4 mm thick at the centre of pileus, initially White (LIII), Light Ochraceous-Salmon (XV13′d) to Primuline Yellow (XVI19′) when mature, unchanging or slowly turning Ochraceous-Tawny (XV15′) to Buckthorn Brown (XV17′i) when injured or touched, brittle; taste mild, rarely slightly acrid when young; odour indistinct. Spore print cream-coloured (Romagnesi IIc–IId).

Figure 2. 

Basidiomata A Russula indocatillus B R. straminella C–D R. subpectinatoides E–F R. succinea. Bars: 10 mm.

Figure 3. 

SEM photo of basidiospores A Russula indocatillus B R. straminella C R. subpectinatoides D R. succinea.

Figure 4. 

Russula indocatillus, holotype A basidiospores B basidia C hymenial cystidia D suprapellis in pileus centre E suprapellis in pileus margin.

Figure 5. 

Russula indocatillus, holotype A hyphal extremities in pileipellis margin B hyphal extremities in pileus centre.

Basidiospores [200/8/4] (4.9–) 5.3–6.8 (–7.3) × (4.7–) 5.0–5.9 (–6.3) μm, Q = (1.01–) 1.05–1.28 (–1.33) (Q = 1.18 ± 0.08), 6.1 × 5.5 μm in average, subglobose to broad ellipsoid, ornamentation composed of conical to verrucous amyloid warts of very different sizes, mostly isolated, rarely linked as short ridges or with occasional line connections, not reticulate, warts 0.7–1 μm in height; suprahilar spot inamyloid and indistinct. Basidia 27–39 × 8–9 μm, hyaline in KOH, clavate to subclavate, four-spored, projecting 15–20 μm beyond the hymenium; sterigmata 3–6 μm, pointed, often straight, slightly tortuous towards the tip. Hymenial cystidia rare, less than 200/mm2, 56–70 × 6–9 μm, fusiform to subclavate, rarely subcylindrical, thin-walled, projecting 20–40 μm beyond the hymenium, apex often mucronate, contents sparse, unevenly distributed, granular, greyish in SV. Pileipellis two layered, composed of suprapellis (80–150 μm thick) and subpellis (100–150 μm thick). Suprapellis an ixotrichoderm at pileus centre, composed of oblique to erect, septate, hyaline hyphae; acid-resistant encrustations absent, terminal cells cylindrical to subcylindrical, apex obtuse, rarely mucronate, mostly 40–70 μm in length; pileus margin a trichoderm composed of repent to tilted elements, terminal cells mostly 7–20 (–25) μm in length, ampullaceous, ellipsoid or cylindrical, obtuse to mucronate at apex, longer terminal cells similar to those in pileus centre also present; subapical cells contain islands of more or less inflated, 2–4 septate cells. Pileocystidia present in suprapellis and subpellis, abundant at pileus centre, dispersed at margin, one-celled, subulate, lageniform, fusiform, cylindrical, rarely appendiculate, 4–6 μm in width, many in suprapellis 15–25 μm in length, others up to 60 μm, even reaching a length of 100 μm in subpellis, apex mucronate, acicular to lanceolate in suprapellis, obtuse in subpellis, contents granulate, sparse, greyish in SV. Subpellis composed of repent to irregularly interlaced, inflated, septate hyphae 3–5 μm wide. Clamp connections absent in all tissues.

Specimens examined

China, Guizhou Province, Weining Yi, Hui, and Miao Autonomous County, Caohai National Nature Reserve, 26°53'N, 104°12'E, alt. 2171 m, on the ground in coniferous forest, 9 September 2017, C.Y. Deng A (HGAS-MF 009903); ibid, alt. 1987 m, C.Y. Deng dcy2306 (HGAS-MF 009918); ibid, alt. 2053 m, C.Y. Deng dcy2303 (HGAS-MF 009911); ibid, alt. 2106 m, C.Y. Deng CH2017090971 (HGAS-MF 009917).

Habit and habitat

Single to scattered on yellow brown soil in coniferous forest dominated by Pinus armandii and P. yunnanensis at 1900–2200 m altitude.


China (Guizhou) and India (Uttarakhand).


The Chinese collections fit well with the original description of Ghosh et al. (2020), except for a few differences. The Indian specimens have longer basidia, 35–60 × 9–11 μm. The original description of R. indocatillus also noted that the type specimen was collected in a temperate mixed forest with Myrica, Quercus and Rhododendron. The coniferous tree species in this habitat were not mentioned. The Chinese collection is from a subalpine coniferous forest of subtropical region dominated by Pinus spp. with the main undergrowth species of Berberis cavaleriei, Corylus yunnanensis, Elaeagnus umbellata and Rosa sweginzowii (He et al. 2019).

Amongst the closely-related species in Clade H, R. amoenolens Romagn. and R. cerolens Shaffer have a strongly acrid taste, disagreeable sub-spermatic odour, basidiospore length up to 9 μm and longer hymenial cystidia up to 100 μm (Shaffer 1972; Romagnesi 1985; Sarnari 1998); R. catillus lacks lamellulae, has longer basidia 42–49 × 9.3–11.7 μm, shorter pileipellis terminal cells 41–72 × 3–7 μm and lacks pileocystidia (Lee et al. 2017); R. pseudocatillus has larger basidiospores 7–9.2 × 5.1–6.7 μm with higher ornamentation (up to 1.2 μm) which is never reticulate (Yuan et al. 2019).

Some members of R.sect. Ingratae, which were originally described from Himalayan Mountains and adjacent south-western China, may be confused with R. indocatillus in the field. Their main morphological differences are as follows: R. abbotensis has a crustose to areolate pileus with purplish-red to reddish-brown tinges, an ixotrichoderm pileipellis with pileocystidia 5 μm in width and an occurring in ectomycorrhizal association with Quercus spp. (Das and Sharma 2005); R. arunii can be distinguished by its fishy odour, amyloid suprahilar spot, 3–4 μm wide pileocystidia, mostly with a capitate apex and habitat in a tropical rain forest of Pterygota alata (Crous et al. 2017); R. ahmadii has larger basidiospores (5.6–) 6.1–9.2 (–9.4) × (5–) 5.1–6 (–6.5) μm with low (up to 0.3 μm high), partly reticulated ornamentation and cutis type of pileipellis (Jabeen et al. 2017); R. foetentoides can be distinguished from R. indocatillus by its smooth pileus margin, absence of lamellulae and its basidiospore ornamentation of 1.7–2 µm in height (Razaq et al. 2014); R. natarajanii differs in having larger basidiospores, 6.8–8.8 × 5.8–7.1 μm and longer hymenial cystidia, 60–90 × 6–10.5 μm (Das et al. 2006); R. pseudopectinatoides has larger basidiospores (6–) 6.5–9 (–9.5) × (5–) 5.1–6 (–6.5) μm with partly reticulate ornamentation, longer hymenial cystidia up to 90 μm and terminal cells of suprapellis hyphae often with obtuse to ventricose apex (Li et al. 2015b); R. succinea differs in larger basidiospores with incompletely reticulated ornamentations, longer basidia and pileocystidia up to 10 μm in width (Figs 10 and 11); R. tsokae can be distinguished from R. indocatillus by its larger basidiomata 8–13 cm in diam., yellowish-orange tinged stipe and larger basidiospores 6.8–8.8 × 5.8–7.1 μm with reticulated ornamentation up to 2 μm high (Das et al. 2010).

Russula straminella G.J. Li & C.Y. Deng, sp. nov.

Figs 2b, 3b, 6 and 7.


referring to the yellowish tinged pileus


China, Guizhou Province, Guiyang City, Yunyan District, Guizhou Botany Garden, 26°37'N, 106°43'E, alt. 1107 m, on the ground in coniferous forest, 8 July 2017, C.Y. Deng 2017–209 (HGAS-MF 009922, Holotype). GenBank accession: MN649195 (ITS).


This species is characterized by the yellow, brownish-yellow to brown pileus, tuberculate-striate margin, adnate lamellae tinged ochraceous when bruised, rare lamellulae, white stipe turning brownish-yellow when injured, mild to rarely acrid context, cream spore print, globose, subglobose to broad ellipsoid basidiospores (5.4–) 5.8–7.1 (–7.6) × (4.7–) 5.1–6.5 μm, 6.4 × 5.6 μm on average, with verrucous to conical, partly reticulate ornamentations 0.7–1 μm in height, subclavate to clavate basidia 33–40 × 9–11 μm, clavate to subclavate hymenial cystidia 56–70 × 8–10 μm, a suprapellis composed of two layers, a trichoepithelium at pileus centre and an ixotrichoderm towards the margin, pileocystidia abundant at pileus centre, but sparse in margin, a cutis type of subpellis and habitat on the ground in coniferous forests.

Figure 6. 

Russula straminella, holotype A basidiospores B basidia C hymenial cystidia D suprapellis and partial subpellis in pileus centre E suprapellis in pileus margin.

Figure 7. 

Russula straminella, holotype A hyphal ends in pileipellis margin B hyphal ends in pileus centre.


Basidiomata small to medium sized. Pileus 33–57 mm in diam., initially flat to hemispherical, then plano-convex to applanate, finally often concave at centre, gelatinised, yellowish to brownish-yellow tinged, intermixed with brownish fringe, Argus Brown (III13m), Warm Sepia (XXIX13′′m), to Verona Brown (XXIX13′′k) at centre, rarely with a paler tinge of Mikado Brown (XXIX13′′i), Rood’s Brown (XXVIII11′′k) to Cacao Brown (XXVIII9′′i); margin acute to subacute, enrolled when young, often undulate, sometimes cracked when mature, tuberculate-striate 8–15 mm from the edge inwards, peeling 1/5–1/4 towards the centre, first Aniline Yellow (IV19i), Sayal Brown (XXIX15′′) to Cinnamon Buff (XXIX15′′d), finally Mikado Brown (XXIX13′′i), Snuff Brown (XXIX15′′k) to Clay Colour (XXIX17′′). Lamellae adnate, fragile, occasionally forked near the stipe and pileus margin, interveined, first White (LIII), then of Cream Colour (XVI19′f) when mature, often having an ochraceous tinge of Olive Ochre (XXX21′′), Isabella Colour (XXX19′′i) to Honey Yellow (XXX19′′) when bruised, taste mild to slightly acrid; edge even, narrowing towards the pileus edge, 8–16 pieces per cm in the edge; lamellulae rare. Stipe central, 3.5–6.5 × 1–1.5 cm, cylindrical, slightly tapering towards the base, annulus absent, first smooth, slightly longitudinally rugulose when mature, White (LIII) when young, turning a pale brownish-yellow tinge of Kaiser Brown (XIV9′k), Aniline Yellow (IV19i) to Buckthorn Brown (XV17′i) after bruising, initially stuffed, fistulous to hollow when mature. Context White first, slowly turning a pale ochraceous tinged of Yellow Ochre (XV17′) to Ochraceous-Buff (XV15′b) when injured, 2–4 mm thick at the centre of pileus, compact; taste mild, rarely slightly acrid, with no distinct odour. Spore print cream coloured (Romagnesi IIc–IId).

Basidiospores [150/6/3] (5.4–) 5.8–7.1 (–7.6) × (4.7–) 5.1–6.5 μm, Q = (1.00–) 1.03–1.28 (–1.31) (Q = 1.15 ± 0.07), 6.4 × 5.6 μm in average, globose, subglobose to broadly ellipsoid, rarely ellipsoid, ornamentation amyloid, composed of verrucous to conical warts 0.7–1 μm in height, often linked by fine lines as short ridges, partly reticulate, rarely isolated; suprahilar area inamyloid, but distinct. Basidia 33–40 × 9–11 μm, hyaline, often yellowish in KOH, subclavate to clavate, sometimes cylindrical, mostly with four sterigmata 4–7 μm long. Hymenial cystidia rare, less than 500/mm2, 56–70 × 8–10 μm, clavate to subclavate, rarely subfusiform, projecting 20–40 μm beyond hymenium, apex rounded, contents sparse, granular, evenly distributed, pale greyish in SV. Pileipellis two-layered, clearly distinguished from the subjacent sphaerocytes. Suprapellis 70–130 μm thick, acid-resistant encrustations absent, a trichoepithelium at pileus centre, partly an ixo-trichoepithelium, composed of erect to suberect hyphae, terminal cells cylindrical, 20–40 × 3–5 μm, obtuse at apex, partly ventricose, subapical cells sometimes inflated, rarely branched, 15–25 × 8–12 μm, an ixotrichoderm at pileus margin, composed of erect to ascending, rarely repent hyphae, terminal cells 30–55 × 3–5 μm, cylindrical, often thick-walled, tapered to mucronate at apex. Pileocystidia abundant, often fasciculate at pileus centre, narrowly lanceolate to bayonet-shaped, 30–60 × 5–8 μm, one-celled, contents granular, blackish-grey in SV. Pileocystidia sparse at the pileus margin, cylindrical, 4–8 μm in width, slightly tapered at apex, contents grey in SV. Subpellis composed of loosely interwoven, mostly repent, septate hyphae often inflated, 3–8 μm in width. Clamp connections absent in all tissues.

Additional specimens examined

China, Guizhou Province, Guiyang City, Yunyan District, Guizhou Botany Garden, 26°37'N, 106°43'E, alt. 1074 m, on the ground in coniferous forest, 8 July 2017, C.Y. Deng dcy2305 (HGAS-MF 009920, paratype); ibid, alt. 1385 m, C.Y. Deng dcy2302 (HGAS-MF 009925, paratype).

Habit and habitat

Single to scattered on yellow brown soil in coniferous forest dominated by Pinus armandii and P. massoniana at 1100–1400 m altitude.


China (Guizhou).


This new species can be distinguished from members of R. sect. Ingratae described from China and the Himalayan region as follows: Russula gelatinosa, R. guangdongensis Z.S. Bi & T.H. Li, R. punctipes, R. senecis, R. subpunctipes and R. tsokae have basidiospore ornamentation composed of high wings (often above 2 μm), ranging over long distances or even encircling (Bi and Li 1986; Song et al. 2018, 2020). The Asian species of R.sect. Ingratae, R. ahmadii, R. natarajanii and R. pseudopectinatoides have basidiospore ornamentation lower than 0.7 μm (Das et al. 2006; Li et al. 2015b; Jabeen et al. 2017). For species that have similar basidiospore ornamentation, R. abbotensis has reddish-brown to purplish-red tinges on pileus surface, pruinose to scurfy stipe at base, larger basdiospores, 8–10 × 7.3–8.5 μm and hymenial cystidia with mucronate apices (Das and Sharma 2005); R. arunii has pileus turning light orange to greyish-orange when old, context having a fishy odour and narrow pileocystidia 3–4 μm in width (Crous et al. 2017); R. indocatillus has hymenial cystidia with mucronate, capitate, moniliform, rostrate or appendiculate apex with cylindrical or slightly inflated subapical cells (Ghosh et al. 2020); R. obscuricolor has a pale yellowish-white tinge in pileus margin, pungent and bitterish context, narrow pileocystidia 3–5 μm in width (Das et al. 2017); R. pseudocatillus has greyish-brown pileus centre, towards the margin very pale yellow, larger basidiospores, 7–9 μm in diam. and narrower pileocystidia (3–6 μm in width) unchanging in SV (Yuan et al. 2019); R. rufobasalis has reddish stipe base, mucronate or appendiculate apex of hymenial cystidia and thick-walled terminal cells (Song et al. 2018).

Russula subpectinatoides G.J. Li & Q.B. Sun, sp. nov.

Figs 2c, 2d, 3c, 8 and 9.


named for its morphological resemblance to R. pectinatoides Peck.


China, Jiangsu Province, Nanjing City, Qixia District, Nanjing Normal University, 32°06'N, 118°54'E, alt. 84 m, on the ground in coniferous forest, 28 August 2018, Q.B. Sun 2018001 (HBAU15030, Holotype). GenBank accession: MW1041163 (ITS).


This species is characterised by the greyish-brown to brownish-yellow pileus, striate margin, adnate to subadnate lamellae rarely staining reddish-brown when bruised, infrequent lamellulae, context slowly turning pale ochre after injury and slightly to moderately acrid taste, cream spore print, subglobose to broadly ellipsoid basidiospores (5.3–) 5.6–6.3–7 (–7.3) × (4.1–) 4.6–5.2–6 (–6.3) μm, ornamentation 0.3–0.5 μm in height, composed of long ridges forming an incomplete to complete reticulum, fusiform to subclavate, basidia 27–50 × 8–12 μm, fusiform to subclavate hymenial cystidia 56–73 × 6–12 μm, pileipellis with one-celled, slender, mucronate, conical, needle-shaped to cylindrical pileocystidia, 5–7 μm in width; and habitat in coniferous forest.

Figure 8. 

Russula subpectinatoides, holotype A basidiospores B basidia C hymenial cystidia D suprapellis in pileus centre E suprapellis in pileus margin.

Figure 9. 

Russula subpectinatoides, holotype A hyphal extremities in pileipellis margin B hyphal extremities in pileus centre.


Basidiomata small to medium-sized. Pileus 18–95 mm in diam., initially hemispherical, concave at centre, turning applanate with age, often depressed at stipe, slightly viscous when young or humid, greyish-brown to brownish-yellow tinged, intermixed with dark brown fringe, Buffy Citrine (XVI19′k) to Light Brownish Olive (XXX19′′k) at centre, Citrine-Drab (XL19′′′i), Drab (XLVI17′′′′) to Benzo Brown (XLVI13′′′′i) when mature, often turning Buffy Olive (XXX21′′k) to Saccardo’s Olive (XVI19′m) when old and dry; margin acute to subacute, involute when young, straight with maturity, sometimes dehiscent, undulate to curled-up when old, striate 1/4–1/3 towards the centre, not or rarely weakly tuberculate, peeling 1/5–1/3 towards the centre, rarely flaking in small patches, with an ochre tinge of Old Gold (XVI19′i), Olive Ochre (XXX21′′) to Tawny-Olive (XXIX17′′i). Lamellae adnate to subadnate, 3–6 mm in height at the midpoint, sometimes forked near the stipe and the pileus edge, interveined, white to pale cream, White (LIII) when young, Light Buff (XV17′f) to Cream Colour (XVI19′f) with age, rarely stained reddish-brown tinge of Buckthorn Brown (XV17′i) when bruised, taste slightly to moderately acrid; edge even, constricted towards the margin, 9–19 pieces per cm at the edge; lamellulae infrequent. Stipe central to subcentral, 2.4–9.3 × 1.3–2.7 cm, slightly narrowing towards the base and apex, smooth at first, longitudinally slightly rugulose when mature, White (LIII) first, sometimes faintly stained with Honey Yellow (XXX19′′) to Olive Ochre (XXX21′′) when bruised, stuffed first, fistulous to hollow when old. Context 2–5 mm thick above the stipe, initially White (LIII), unchanging or slowly turning pale ochre tinge of Cinnamon Buff (XXIX15′′d) when bruised, pale greyish-yellow tinge of Cartridge Buff (XXX19′′f) at base when old, taste slightly to moderately acrid, with no distinct odour. Spore print cream coloured (Romagnesi IIc–IId).

Basidiospores [250/10/5] (5.3–) 5.6–7 (–7.3) × (4.1–) 4.6–6 (–6.3) μm, Q = (1.02–) 1.05–1.31 (–1.37) (Q = 1.19 ± 0.09), 6.3 × 5.2 μm in average, mostly subglobose to broadly ellipsoid, rarely globose and ellipsoid, ornamentation amyloid, composed of long ridges forming an incomplete to complete reticulum, rarely intermixed with an isolated conical to verrucous warts and short crests, 0.3–0.5 μm in height; suprahilar spot inamyloid and indistinct. Basidia 27–50 × 8–12 μm, hyaline in KOH, subcylindrical to subclavate, rarely clavate or subfusiform, inflated towards the upper end or mid-piece, 4-spored, projecting 15–30 μm beyond hymenium; sterigmata 3–6 μm, slightly tortuous, sometimes straight. Hymenial cystidia sparsely distributed, fewer than 200/mm2, 56–73 × 6–12 μm, fusiform to subclavate, projecting 20–40 μm beyond the hymenium, contents granular, sparsely distributed, slightly greyish in SV; apex subacute, rarely obtuse; lamellar edge sterile. Pileipellis two layered, composed of suprapellis (80–140 μm thick) and subpellis (100–150 μm thick). Suprapellis an ixotrichoderm, composed of gelatinised, ascending to vertical, septate hyphae, acid-resistant encrustations absent, terminal cells mostly lanceolate to bayonet-shaped at pileus centre, mostly tapered at apex, rarely cylindrical, 20–30 × 4–7 μm, subapical cells sometimes inflated, barrel-shaped, ellipsoid or almost subglobose to globose; when compared with suprapellis at pileus centre, its margin is also an ixotrichoderm, but contains more repent elements, 3–5 μm in width, inflated hyphal cells not observed, lateral short ramifications frequent; pileocystidia long, cylindrical, non-septate, 3–5 μm in width, apex mucronate, contents granulate, sparse, pale grey in SV. Subpellis a composed of cylindrical, sometimes inflated, septate, loosely intricate, gelatinous, hyaline hyphae 3–6 μm in width. Clamp connections absent in all parts.

Additional specimens examined

China, Jiangsu Province, Nanjing City, Qixia District, Nanjing Normal University, 32°06'N, 118°54'E, alt. 84 m, on the ground in coniferous forest, 28 August 2018, Q.B. Sun 2018002 (HBAU15031, paratype); ibid, 2018003 (HBAU15032, paratype); ibid, 2018004 (HBAU15033, paratype).

Habit and habitat

Single to scattered on yellow brown soil in coniferous forest of subtropical monsoon climate zone dominated by Cedrus deodara, Pinus parviflora and P. thunbergii.


China (Jiangsu).


This new species is similar to R. pseudopectinatoides in its brownish-yellow pileus, slightly acrid taste, cream spore print, spores with low, subreticulate ornamentation and gelatinous pileipellis. It is notable that basidiomata of R. subpectinatoides were collected from a forest of introduced coniferous tree species. Cedrus deodara is native in the western Himalayas, while Pinus parviflora and P. thunbergii are naturally distributed in the Japanese archipelago and Korean peninsula. Therefore, this new taxon may also occur in these introduced areas with its accompanying trees.

The Asian species of sect. Ingratae already recognizable by their long slender stipe, such as R. gelatinosa, R. guangdongensis, R. punctipes, R. senecis, R. subpunctipes and R. tsokae and cannot be confused with our new species, even more so because they have basidiospores composed of long wings, 2 μm high or more (Song et al. 2018, 2020). A similarly-winged spore ornamentation also differentiates species of the R. grata lineage which, moreover, usually have a distinct bitter almond smell. The more golden yellow pileus of species in the R. foetens or R. subfoetens lineages also avoids confusion with our new species and because many of these are distinctly very acrid. The strong yellowish stipe base that turns immediately red with KOH easily allows one to distinguish the few species of the R. insignis lineage. In the R. granulata lineage, the Asian species R. rufobasalis has reddish tinged stipe base, pleurocystidia with mucronate or appendiculate apices and longer terminal cells, up to 60 μm (Song et al. 2018). Finally, the typically very acrid taste allows us to eliminate most species of the R. amoenolens lineage, notwithstanding their sometimes quite similar colouration. The same very acrid taste also differentiates R. obscuricolor, which was described from the Indian Himalayas (Das et al. 2017) and showed close affinity to some Southern Hemisphere Ingratae in our phylogeny.

After application of these criteria, we are principally left with the phylogenetically closer species of the R. praetervisa lineage as potential sources of confusion, most of which are mild to merely slightly acrid. From Asia, this concerns essentially R. pseudopectinatoides, a species that can be distinguished by its larger basidiospores (6–) 6.5–9 (–9.5) × 5–7.5 (–8) μm, hymenial cystidia sometimes with moniliform or capitate appendages and terminal cells of pileipellis with obtuse to ventricose apices (Li et al. 2015b); R. ahmadii differs in small basidiomata with pileus 1–4.5 cm in diam. and pileipellis a cutis with bifurcated terminal cells (Jabeen et al. 2017). The European species R. recondita Melera & Ostellari has a fruity-acidic, but overall unpleasant context smell, larger basidiospores 7–8.5 × 5.5–7 μm, with ornamentation composed of mostly isolated obtuse conical warts up to 1 μm high (Melera et al. 2017). From North America, R. amerorecondita Avis & Barajas has a strongly tuberculate-striate pileus margin, white to pale cream spore print, larger basidiospores (6.5–) 7.1–7.6–8.1 (–9.5) × (5–) 5.6–6.3–6.9 (–8) μm with more isolated ornamentation and a habitat in hardwood forest dominated by Quercus; R. garyensis Avis & Barajas has context with unpleasant, bleachy, fishy to parmesan smell, higher basidiospore ornamentation (0.6–) 0.8–1 (–1.4) μm, longer hymenial cystidia (62–) 71.5–81.4–91 (–103) × 7–8.1–9 (–10) μm and apex sometimes with two, long, usually narrow appendages (Adamčík et al. 2019).

Russula succinea G.J. Li & C.Y. Deng, sp. nov.

Figs 2e, 2f, 3d, 10 and 11.


referring to the pale brownish tinged pileus.


China, Guizhou Province, Weining Yi, Hui, and Miao Autonomous County, Caohai National Nature Reserve, 26°53'N, 104°12'E, alt. 2183 m, on the ground in coniferous forest, 15 July 2017, C.Y. Deng CH2017071509 (HGAS-MF 009904, Holotype). GenBank accession: MN649188 (ITS).


This species is characterised by the yellowish-brown to pale brown pileus, with tuberculate-striate margin, adnate and pale cream-coloured lamellae, subclavate to subcylindrical stipe turning cream to pale ochre when bruised, white context unchanging after injury, slightly acrid to mild taste, pale cream spore print, globose, subglobose to broadly ellipsoid basidiospores (5.8–) 6.1–7.8 (–8.3) × (4.9–) 5.2–6.8 (–7.3) μm, 7.0 × 6.0 μm on average, ornamentation 0.8–1.2 μm in height, forming incomplete reticulum, rarely intermixed with isolated warts, clavate to subcylindrical basidia, 44–66 × 10–12 μm, fusiform hymenial cystidia 71–88 × 9–15 μm, two-layered pileipellis, ixotrichodermal suprapellis in pileus centre, a trichoderm at the margin, subpellis a cutis and habitat in coniferous forests.

Figure 10. 

Russula succinea, holotype A basidiospores B basidia C hymenial cystidia D suprapellis partial subpellis in pileus centre E suprapellis in pileus margin.

Figure 11. 

Russula succinea, holotype A hyphal ends in pileipellis margin B hyphal ends in pileus centre.


Basidiomata small to medium sized. Pileus 32–54 mm in diam., initially hemispherical, then plano-convex, flat when mature, often slightly depressed at centre, strongly viscid when wet, yellowish-brown tinged, pale brownish tinged, often intermixed with greyish-yellow fringe, Hazal (XIV11′k), Russet (XV13′k), Cinnamon Brown (XV15′k) to Tawny (XV15′) at centre, rarely with Liver Brown (XIV17′m), Pecan Brown (XXVIII13′′i) or Rood’s Brown (XXVIII11′′k) when old and dry; margin subacute to acute, straight, rarely split or inward-turned, tuberculate-striate 14–25 mm from the edge inwards, peeling 1/3–1/2 towards the centre, pale yellowish tinged, first Deep Colonial Buff (XXX21′′b), Honey Yellow (XXX19′′) to Light Ochraceous Salmon (XV13′d), then Light Cadmium (IV19), Maize Yellow (III19f) when mature. Lamellae adnate, 3–6 mm in height at the halfway point of pileus radius, brittle, often forked near the stipe and pileus edge, interveined, pale cream-coloured, first White (LIII), Cream Colour (XVI19′f) when mature, sometimes stained with Martius Yellow (III23f) to Baryta Yellow (IV21f); edge entire, narrowing towards the pileus margin, 13–22 pieces per cm in the edge; lamellulae absent. Stipe slightly subcentral, rarely central, 4.2–8.3 × 1.5–2.2 cm, subclavate to subcylindrical, often narrowing towards the base, rarely slightly curved, smooth when young, rugulose longitudinally in age, dry, Cream Colour (XVI19′f), staining Sudan Brown (III15k) to Orange-Citrine (IV19k) when bruised, Tawny Olive (XXIX17′′i), Sayal Brown (XXIX15′′) to Isabella Colour (XXX19′′i) at base, initially solid, turning hollow in age. Context White (LIII), unchanging when bruised or touched, 3–5 mm thick at the centre of pileus, fragile, taste first slightly acrid, mild when mature, odour indistinct. Spore print pale cream (Romagnesi IIc–IId).

Basidiospores [350/14/7] (5.8–) 6.1–7.8 (–8.3) × (4.9–) 5.2–6.8 (–7.3) μm, Q = (1.00–) 1.03–1.30 (–1.33) (Q = 1.17 ± 0.08), 7.0 × 6.0 μm on average, globose, subglobose to broadly ellipsoid, rarely ellipsoid, composed of verrucous to subcylindrical amyloid warts 0.8–1.2 μm in height, often linked as short to long crests and ridges, forming an incomplete reticulum, rarely intermixed with isolated warts; suprahilar spot distinct, but not amyloid. Basidia 44–66 × 10–12 μm, mostly 4-spored, clavate to subcylindrical; sterigmata 4–6 μm in length, straight to tortuous. Hymenial cystidia moderately numerous, ca. 700–1300/mm2, 71–88 × 9–15 μm, fusiform, sometimes cylindrical, thin-walled, apex obtuse, rarely mucronate, projecting 20–40 μm beyond the hymenium, contents granular to crystalline, partly dense, blackish-grey in SV. Pileipellis two-layered, distinctly delimited from the underlying context. The upper suprapellis (70–130 μm thick) in pileus centre an ixotrichoderm, composed of ascending to erect hyphae 4–7 μm in width, septate, cylindrical, often slightly inflated, acid-resistant encrustations absent, terminal cells sometimes narrowing towards the apex, subapical cells cylindrical, not branched; suprapellis a trichoderm in pileus margin, composed of repent, slender, cylindrical, hyaline hyphae 3–5 μm in width, acid-resistant encrustations absent. Pileocystidia abundant, long, cylindrical, often septate, 4–10 μm in width, apex obtuse, contents granulate, dense, blackish-grey in SV. The lower layer subpellis (50–90 μm thick) composed of loosely interwoven, mostly repent, cylindrical, septate hyaline hyphae often inflated, 2–7 μm in width. Clamp connections not observed in all parts.

Additional specimens examined

China, Guizhou Province, Weining Yi, Hui and Miao Autonomous County, Caohai National Nature Reserve, 26°53'N, 104°12'E, alt. 2215 m, on the ground in coniferous forest, 16 July 2017, C.Y. Deng CH2017071602 (HGAS-MF 009915, paratype); ibid, alt. 2136 m, 15 July 2017, C.Y. Deng dcy2307 (HGAS-MF 009909, paratype); ibid, alt. 2005 m, C.Y. Deng dcy2309 (HGAS-MF 009906, paratype); alt. 2057 m, C.Y. Deng dcy2308 (HGAS-MF 009902, paratype); alt. 2103 m, C.Y. Deng dcy2304 (HGAS-MF 009914, paratype); Jiangxi Province, Jiujiang City, Lushan City, Lushan Mountains, alt. 1257 m, on the ground in coniferous forest, 19 October 2016, J.B. Zhang (HFJAU 0301).

Habit and habitat

Single to scattered on yellow brown soil in coniferous forest dominated by Pinus armandii, P. massoniana and P. yunnanensis at 1200–2200 m altitude.


China (Guizhou and Jiangxi).


This new species is reminiscent of R. foetentula, R. obscuricolor and R. rufobasalis because of the reddish-brown or burnt sienna colour at the stipe base (Peck 1907; Song et al. 2018). The following characters are helpful for differentiating these two species from R. succinea: R. foetentula has lower basidiospore ornamentations 0.5–0.9 μm connected by occasional to rare line connections, hymenial cystidia with mucronate-appendiculate apices 2–7 μm long, pileocystidium apex often constricted to 1–2.5 μm in width; North American distribution (Peck 1907; Adamčík et al. 2013); R. obscuricolor has darker brown to chocolate brown tinges at pileus centre, bitter to pungent taste of context and shorter hymenial cystidia (pleurocystidia 30–65 × 6–9 μm, cheilocystidia 23–33 × 5–7 μm) (Das et al. 2017); R. rufobasalis has bright reddish tinge at stipe base, basidiospore ornamentations 0.3–0.8 μm in height and frequently thick-walled, narrower terminal cells 2–5 μm in width (Song et al. 2018).

For those Asian sect. Ingratae members that have similar pileus tinges, R. ahmadii can be distinguished from R. succinea by lower basidiospore ornamentations up to 0.3 μm, shorter basidia (29–) 29.7–38.9 (–40.1) × (9.2–) 9.4–11.3 (–11.8) μm and pileipellis a cutis (Jabeen et al. 2017); R. arunii differs from the new species in the orange tinge intermixed on pileus surfaces, white spore print, narrow pileocystidia 3–4 μm in width and a habit of broad-leaved Pterygota alata forest (Crous et al. 2017); R. catillus differs in that basidiospore ornamentation is composed of mostly isolated, verrucous to conical warts, absence of pileocystidia in pileipellis and a habitat of oak hardwood forest (Lee et al. 2017); R. indocatillus can be differentiated from the new species for white spore print, shorter basidia 34–40 × 9–11 μm and capitate hymenial cystidium apex (Ghosh et al. 2020); R. natarajanii differs in having light to medium brown spots at the pileus periphery, shorter basidia 28–35 × 7.5–9 μm and a habitat of Quercus forest (Das et al. 2006); R. pseudocatillus differs in the presence of lamellula, basidiospores ornamented with isolated warts never forming a reticulum and a habitat of broad-leaved evergreen forest (Yuan et al. 2019); R. pseudopectinatoides can be distinguished from the new species in having hymenial cystidia with moniliform or capitate apex, larger basidiospores up to 9 μm in diam. and absence of pileocystidia (Li et al. 2015b); R. straminella differs in its shorter basidia and hymenial cystidia, often thick-walled terminal cells in pileipellis of pileus margin (Figs 6 and 7); R. gelatinosa, R. punctipes, R. seneicis, R. subpunctipes and R. tsokae differ from R. succinea in their larger basidiospores (9 μm in diam.) with high ornamentation up to 2 μm in height (Khatua et al. 2015; Lee et al. 2017; Song et al. 2018; 2020).


The modern taxonomy of Russula calls for a combination of detailed microscopic observations with universal and specific standard, multi-gene phylogenetic analyses and accurate symbiotic plant species information (Buyck et al. 2018; Adamčík et al. 2019). The ITS phylogenetic analyses are the most common for practical identification of Russula species, because ITS is regarded as an adequate single gene DNA barcode for this genus (Li et al. 2019) and it has the largest number of available referential sequences in open databases (Schoch et al. 2012). A combination of morphological and ITS phylogenetic analyses supported the three new species amongst Asian Ingratae: R. straminella, R. subpectinatoides and R. succinea. The results of this study also indicate that R. indocatillus may have a wider distribution, from the Himalayan region to south-western China. The four species discussed here have distinct morphologies that allow each one to be differentiated from the others:

  • R. subpectinatoides and R. indocatillus possess the more or less inflated, short-celled chains of hyphal ends, typical for most species in the subgenus Heterophyllidiae (Figs 4, 5, 8 and 9). These are abundant in R. subpectinatoides, but less so in R. indocatillus and absent in both other species which possess very dense, intricate and strongly branching, narrow ends in the pileipellis, more or less cemented in mucus that make microscopic examination of these hyphal ends very difficult. Compared to R. straminella, hyphal ends in the pileus centre of R. succinea have a more wavy-undulate form (Figs 6, 7, 10 and 11).

All four species have similar pileocystidia, but in R. indocatillus, they are smaller overall at the pileus surface compared to the other three species (Figs 4 and 5), while in R. straminella, they are often more or less thick-walled (Figs 6 and 7).

When comparing basidiospores, R. subpectinatoides stands out because of the low subreticulate ornamentation (Figs 3 and 8), whereas the other species have more developed, higher warts or ridges that are much less interconnected, while R. indocatillus has almost completely isolated warts (Figs 3 and 4).

Some European members of section Ingratae, viz. R. amoenolens Romagn., R. pectinata Fr., R. pectinatoides Peck and R. sororia (Fr.) Romell may have been confused morphologically with some of these new species (Wu 1989; Ying and Zang 1994), but more recent diversity analyses indicated that some Chinese specimens, identified as R. amoenolens and R. insignis Quél., have broad morphological similarities, but also considerable difference (ca. 2%) in the ITS sequence compared to European samples of these species (Li 2014; Liu et al. 2017; Cao et al. 2019). Whether these Chinese specimens represent unknown taxa or intraspecific geographically-separated populations is still debatable (Wang 2020). The factual presence of these species of European and North American origin in China have been analysed in recent years (Li 2014; Zhang 2014; Wang 2019; Liu 2019) and symbiotic host plants were found to be very similar between north-eastern China, Europe and North America (Wu 1979).

The topology of the ITS phylogram (Fig. 1) in this study largely corresponds to that of Park et al. (2017). Of the three subsections in sect. Ingratae, the majority of subsect. Pectinatinae Bon (type species R. pectinata) with species that are typically more greyish-brown to greyish-cream is distributed over clades C and H (Bon 1988), while Subvelatae (Singer) Singer (type species R. subvelata Singer) with members that have velar rudiments consisting of loosely, arachnoid-pulverulent floccons on pileus surface (Singer 1986), forms the highly-supported clade I. The species R. indocatillus, newly-recorded from China in this study, is located in Clade H. This well-supported clade also contains the R. amoenolens complex from Europe and R. cerolens and allies from North America. The African species complex of R. oleifera Buyck in subsect. Oleiferinae Buyck (type species R. oleifera Buyck) with species that sometimes present an annulus, corresponds to Clade D (Sanon et al. 2014). This clade was a sister clade to the remainder of sect. Ingratae in the multilocus phylogenetic analysis of Buyck et al. (2018). The large majority of European species that cluster around R. foetens compose clade F, a clade highly supported by Bayesian analysis only. The latter clade is typically composed of yellowish-brown to orange brown species and roughly corresponds to species traditionally placed in subsect. Foetentinae (Melzer & Zvara) Singer (type species R. foetens), of which it is characterised by dull, ochraceous or pallid coloured pileus, often with pectinate-sulcate to tuberculate-sulcate and distinctly subacute to acute margin, context odour of nitrobenzene, oily, fish, iodoform, or of other unpleasant smells (Singer 1986). Clade F also contains two of our new species, R. straminella and R. succinea, which share a similar pileipellis structure. Clade E received higher support in ML and MP analyses and shared with Clade F that two of the three species were also yellowish- to orange brown. This clade harbours three species: R. rufobasalis from Asia and the North American R. granulata Peck and R. ventricosipes. The results of our phylogenetic analyses, based on ITS sequences, indicate that more unknown subsections may exist in sect. Ingratae. More complex multi-gene analyses are urgently needed to clarify the phylogenetic relationships amongst species in this section.

Compared with previous analyses (Melera et al. 2016; Lee et al. 2017), more gasteroid species of sect. Ingratae were included in our study. The majority of gasteroid taxa clustered as two branches in Clade F. The other gasteroid species were mainly scattered in clades of agaricoid taxa. The phylogenetic topologies and low supported branches within sequestrated complex 2 may indicate an urgent need to study the type material of these gasteroid species for clarification of synonyms.

Lee et al. (2017) summarised the general patterns observed for spores in the four clades of sect. Ingratae by showing a trend for basidiospore size to increase, while the shape changes from ellipsoid to spherical and for species that have smaller spores to have more ellipsoid spores and vice versa. However, these patterns were less clear when gasteroid species of this section were taken into account (Table 2). These gasteroid species suggest that the patterns, proposed in Lee et al. (2017), do not fit well with all members of the sect. Ingratae. Gasteroid taxa are known to have typically more globose and larger spores, because there are no evolutionary pressures of asymmetrical spores with hilar appendages for ballistospory in agaricoid species (Wilson et al. 2011). According to statistics, exceptions that do not follow these general patterns are common in sect. Ingratae. Over 40% (5/11) of counted gasteroid species of this section have subglobose to broadly ellipsoid, even ellipsoid spores. In simple terms, a significant portion of gasteroid species have larger, but still more ellipsoidal spores. The authors suggested that these exceptions may be ascribed to the multiple and irreversible evolutions of gasteromycetation (Miller et al. 2002; Hibbett 2007). Ancestor genotype, divergence time and environmental factors all may exert different influences on this phenotype.

Table 2.

Spore sizes and shapes of gasteroid sect. Ingratae species.

Species Spore size (μm) Spore shape (Q value) Reference
R. ammophila (J.M. Vidal & Calonge) Trappe & T.F. Elliott 7–9 × 5.5–7.5 subglobose to broadly ellipsoid Vidal et al. (2002)
Russula aromatica Trappe & T.F. Elliott 8–11 × 7.5–10 globose to subglobose Smith (1963)
R. brunneonigra T.Lebel 11–14(–15) × 11–13(–15) globose (Q = 1.00–1.03) Lebel and Tonkin (2007)
R. galbana T.Lebel 8–10 × 8–10 globose (Q = 1.01–1.06) Lebel and Tonkin (2007)
R. mistiformis (Mattir.) Trappe & T.F. Elliott (8.5–) 9.5–11 (–12.5) × (8–) 8.5–10 (–10.5) subglobose to broadly ellipsoid (Q = 1.1–1.2) Vidal et al. (2019)
R. nondistincta (Trappe & Castellano) Trappe & T.F. Elliott 7–11 in diam. globose Trappe and Castellano (2000)
R. parksii (Singer & A.H. Sm.) Trappe & T.F. Elliott 8–11 × 7–9 /10–14(–18) × 9–12(–14) subglobose to ellipsoid Singer and Smith (1960)
R. pilosella (Cribb) T.Lebel 8.5–10 × 8–9.5 subglobose to broadly ellipsoid (Q = 1.07–1.2) Lebel and Tonkin (2007)
R. similaris Trappe & T.F. Elliott 9–12 × 8–10 globose to subglobose Singer and Smith (1960)
Russula shafferi Trappe & T.F. Elliott 8–11 × 8–9 subglobose to broadly ellipsoid Singer and Smith (1960)
Russula subfulva (Singer & A.H. Sm.) Trappe & T.F. Elliott 9–12 × 8–11 globose to subglobose Singer and Smith (1960)

Spore ornamentations consisting of winged ridges are regarded as one of the most distinctive morphological characters for some members of sect. Ingratae. These species include R. grata, R. fragrantissima and R. illota from Europe and northern China, R. mutabilis from North America, R. gelatinosa, R. punctipes, R. subpunctipes and R. senecis from eastern and southern Asia. A majority of these species and R. foetens formed a not highly supported clade in phylogenetic analyses of Lee et al. (2017). As more samplings and species of sect. Ingratae were involved, the monophyly of winged-spore species was not supported in this analysis. Close phylogenetic relationships were detected in strongly-supported clades of R. grata-R. fragrantissima, R. mutabilis-R. illota and R. punctipes-R. subpunctipes-R. senecis. This phylogenetic inconsistency called for a further multi-gene analysis.

The habitats of the four species of this study show a common feature of coniferous forests dominated by Pinus spp. The current altitudes of distributions of R. indocatillus and R. succinea indicate a habitat of subalpine climate. These two species may have wider distributions than current records because the corresponding ectomycorrhizal symbiotic trees are representative and widespread species in Sino-Japanese and Sino-Himalayan floral subregions (Wu 1980; Chen et al. 2020). For R. straminella and R. subpectinatoides which were collected from reforested plantations and transplanted botanic gardens, intensive samplings on initial areas of symbiotic trees are needed for clarifying the types of habitats.

Specimens of the four species in this analysis were all collected on yellow brown soil. Local analyses showed high nitrogen conditions in soil environments of these species (Cai et al. 2010; Wang et al. 2010; Zhang et al. 2014). This result supported the conclusions in Avis (2012) that nitrophilic tendencies appear throughout fetid Russulas.


This work was financially supported by the Science and Technology Support Project of Guizhou Province [(2019) 2451–2, (2018) 4002], Talent Introduction Scientific Research Special Project of Hebei Agricultural University (YJ201849), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31500013, 30770013, 31960008), the Biodiversity Survey and Assessment Project of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China (No. 2019HJ2096001006), the Provincial Key Technologies R&D Program of Guizhou [(2017) 2513], the Earmarked Fund for Hebei Edible Fungi Innovation Team of Modern Agro-industry Technology Research System (No. HBCT2018050205), Key Research and Development Planning Project in Science and Technology of Hebei Province (No. 21326315D), Jiangxi Province Department of Education Science and Technology Research Project, (No. GJJ190925), Construction and Application of the main Edible and Medicinal Fungal Resource Information-based Intelligent Platform of Guizhou Province [(2019) 4007] and the Science and Technology Foundation Project of Guizhou Province [(2016) 1153].


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Supplementary materials

Supplementary material 1 

Fasta file for phylogenetic analyses

Guo-Jie Li

Data type: phylogenetic data

This dataset is made available under the Open Database License ( The Open Database License (ODbL) is a license agreement intended to allow users to freely share, modify, and use this Dataset while maintaining this same freedom for others, provided that the original source and author(s) are credited.
Download file (69.59 kb)
Supplementary material 2 

Phylip file for ML analysis

Guo-Jie Li

Data type: phylogenetic

This dataset is made available under the Open Database License ( The Open Database License (ODbL) is a license agreement intended to allow users to freely share, modify, and use this Dataset while maintaining this same freedom for others, provided that the original source and author(s) are credited.
Download file (67.31 kb)
Supplementary material 3 

Nexus file for Baysian analysis

Guo-Jie Li

Data type: phylogenetic

This dataset is made available under the Open Database License ( The Open Database License (ODbL) is a license agreement intended to allow users to freely share, modify, and use this Dataset while maintaining this same freedom for others, provided that the original source and author(s) are credited.
Download file (105.14 kb)
Supplementary material 4 

Nexus file for MP analysis

Guo-Jie Li

Data type: phylogenetic

This dataset is made available under the Open Database License ( The Open Database License (ODbL) is a license agreement intended to allow users to freely share, modify, and use this Dataset while maintaining this same freedom for others, provided that the original source and author(s) are credited.
Download file (105.85 kb)