, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 279–287 | Cite as

Molecular and morpho-anatomical description of mycorrhizas of Lactarius rimosellus on Quercus sp., with ethnomycological notes on Lactarius in Guatemala

  • Ornella Comandini
  • Zsolt Erős-Honti
  • Erzsébet Jakucs
  • Roberto Flores Arzú
  • Marco Leonardi
  • Andrea C. RinaldiEmail author
Original Paper


Guatemala is one of the richest biodiversity hotspots worldwide, bursting a wild array of ecosystems that range from pine and mixed forests in the highlands to tropical rain forests in the extensive El Petén area, bordering Belize and Mexico. Despite this biological wealth, however, current knowledge on the Guatemalan mycobiota is particularly scant, in part because of the prolonged civil war that has prevented exploration of many ecological niches. In the present paper, we report on the occurrence of Lactarius rimosellus Peck—a rarely discussed species—in oak-pine mixed forests in the Guatemalan highlands and describe the relevant ectomycorrhizae formed with Quercus sp. by means of molecular and morpho-anatomical tools. On the phylogenetic trees constructed on the basis of the partial LSU sequence, sporocarp- and ectomycorrhizae-derived sequences formed a common, statistically supported clade. The structural features of the ectomycorrhizae of L. rimosellus were generally found to match those described on various hosts for other Lactarius species belonging to the subgenus Russularia, where L. rimosellus has been traditionally assigned. These mycorrhizae are characterized by a pseudoparenchymatous outer mantle layer, with epidermoid or angular hyphal cells, and a plectenchymatous inner mantle layer; lactifers are embedded either in the middle and/or inner mantle layer. In the framework of a more general, ongoing study of the ethnomycology of the Maya populations in the Guatemalan highlands, we also report on the traditional knowledge about Lactarius mushrooms and their uses among native people.


Lactarius DNA sequences Ectomycorrhizal fungi Neotropical fungi Morphology Ethnomycology 



We thank Gabor M. Kovacs for his useful suggestions. Zsolt Erős-Honti’s work was supported by the TÁMOP grant (nos. TÁMOP-4.2.1.B-09/1/KMR-2010-0005).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ornella Comandini
    • 1
  • Zsolt Erős-Honti
    • 2
  • Erzsébet Jakucs
    • 3
  • Roberto Flores Arzú
    • 4
  • Marco Leonardi
    • 5
  • Andrea C. Rinaldi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Sciences and TechnologiesUniversity of CagliariMonserratoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Botany and Soroksár Botanical Garden, Faculty of Horticultural ScienceCorvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Department of Plant AnatomyEötvös Loránd UniversityBudapestHungary
  4. 4.Universidad de San Carlos de GuatemalaGuatemala CityGuatemala
  5. 5.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly

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