Ganoderma species complex research published today in PLoS by Andrew Loyd, PhD.

Elucidating “lucidum”: Distinguishing the diverse laccate Ganoderma species of the United States 

Ganoderma is a large, diverse and globally-distributed genus in the Basidiomycota that includes species causing a white rot form of wood decay on a variety of tree species. For the past century, many studies of Ganoderma in North America and other regions of the world have used the name G. lucidum sensu lato for any laccate (shiny or varnished) Ganoderma species growing on hardwood trees or substrates. Molecular studies have established that G. lucidum sensu stricto (Curtis) Karst is native to Europe and some parts of China. To determine the species of the laccate Ganoderma that are present in the United States, we studied over 500 collections from recently collected samples and herbarium specimens from hardwoods, conifers, and monocots. A multilocus phylogeny using ITS, tef1α, rpb1 and rpb2 revealed three well-supported clades, similar to previously reported findings. From the U.S. collections, thirteen taxa representing twelve species were identified, including: G. curtisii, G. lucidum sensu stricto, G. martinicense, G. oregonense, G. polychromum, G. ravenelii, G. sessile, G. tsugae, G. tuberculosum, G. cf. weberianum, G. zonatum, and Tomophagus colossus (syn. G. colossus). The species G. meredithiae is synonymized with G. curtisii, and considered a physiological variant that specializes in decay of pines. The designation G. curtisii f.sp. meredithiae forma specialis nov. is proposed. Species such as G. curtisii and G. sessile, once considered as G. lucidum sensu lato, were found to be divergent from one another, and highly divergent from G. lucidum sensu stricto. Morphological characteristics such as context tissue color and features (e.g. melanoid bands), basidiospore shape and size, geographic location, and host preference were found to aid in species identification. Surprisingly, G. lucidum sensu stricto was found in the U.S., but only in geographically restricted areas of northern Utah and California. These collections appear to have resulted from the introduction of this species into the United States possibly from mushroom growers producing G. lucidum outdoors. Overall, this study clarifies the chaotic taxonomy of the laccate Ganoderma in the United States, and will help to remove ambiguities from future studies focusing on the North American species of laccate Ganoderma.

The mushroom of immortality?

New research published in Frontiers in Microbiology  questions what is really in those supplements that claim to contain Ganoderma lucidum, (otherwise known as reishi in Japan and lingzhi in China), an Asian species renown as a panacea.

Read more

Andrew Loyd in the MSA student spotlight

February 2018

Graduate student Andrew Loyd is featured in the student spotlight of the Mycological Society of America Student Section. Check it out!


New research out in Fungal Biology on Ganoderma wood decay

The first paper published on the great work done on the Ganoderma species complex by  PhD student Andrew Loyd in the last 3 years. Expect more to follow resolving questions on the relatedness of North American species.

Fungal Biology, “Elucidating wood decomposition by four species of Ganoderma from the United States”


Claudia’s First Report of Diplodia in Slash Pine in Plant Disease

Claudia has moved on from the Smith lab now that she has completed her Master’s. Her First Report has been published in APS’ Plant Disease on Diplodia in South Florida pine.

First report of Diplodia sapinea and Diplodia scrobiculata causing an outbreak of tip blight on slash pine in Florida 

Ms. Claudia Alejandra PaezMS and Dr. JASON ANDREW SMITH

Marc Hughes’ “beetle juice” featured in Miami Herald story about avocados

Laurel wilt research in the news: Miami Herald reports on UF Forest Pathology lab efforts to identify effective repellents to protect avocado trees from Laurel Wilt Disease vector, the Redbay Ambrosia Beetle.

UF researchers discover ‘beetle juice’ to save avocado trees 


Laurel wilt could be a problem in Europe and kitchens worldwide

Our studies with European bay laurel show it is highly susceptible to laurel wilt. The Disease Note is in the August issue of Plant Disease:

Good video on laurel wilt in south Florida


– Jason

Our new paper out on diagnostics of Diplodia canker on oaks

NPR story on laurel wilt in the Everglades

Here is a short version story with an interview I did last week on NPR regarding laurel wilt in the Everglades.

– Jason