Observation 115416: Amanita phalloides var. alba Costantin & L.M. Dufour
When: 2012-11-03
No herbarium specimen

Proposed Names

2% (2)
Recognized by sight
-30% (2)
Recognized by sight: like Inocybe pudica
15% (2)
Recognized by sight: with the volva removed..

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2012-11-18 10:43:57 PST (-0800)

many journals require the citation of GenBank numbers for all species for which an article provides new morphological information or new phylogenetic information. In order to do that, the sequences must have been deposited in GenBank and given an accession number. The accession number may exist before the sequence is made public by GenBank; however, it seems unusual for the secrecy to be maintained beyond the date of publication. If the sequence is mentioned in the article it is generally assumed to be available. I can think of an exception on WAO. In that case we privately received accession numbers and were allowed to publish the numbers on WAO, but we were not permitted to share the sequences (and GenBank did not make them public) until after a relevant article was published.

I am not inclined to enter into agreements like that any longer…at least not in a general case.

Very best,


Thanks Ret
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-11-18 10:11:45 PST (-0800)

I think you have covered most of the possible reasons :-)
I guess we have to count on some delay after the reports have been published too..

I think I know why some sequences never see the light of day….[edited two times]
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2012-11-18 07:36:57 PST (-0800)

1. The sequence is viewed as redundant because the persons involved don’t think of distribution or ecological or population issues.

2. The sequence is considered to be intellectual property until it appears in a paper, and something is holding up publication of the paper.

3. We don’t have a culture of putting valuable information on-line for use by scientific communitiesexcept perhaps in the unusual case of theoretical physics.

4. There is only one sequence with no corroboration from additional collections. There is an element of art in deciding what sequence information is likely to be representative of an organism, what is distorted in the sequencing process, when your data indicates the possibility of a cryptic taxon, etc. In such situations, obtaining more material with good annotation (making a good argument for determination of the organim) is a necessity; and the early sequences should not be posted with an ID on them…; hence, one could argue, should not be posted.

5. There is no driving national or international program to get “barcodes” or barcode-like identification sequences widely available in some groups of organisms…in our case, agarics.

Others are invited to add other reasons.

I’m sure there are more reasons.

Once we get our process going, WAO will greatly expand our effort of putting corroborated sequences based on well-identified material on-line without any previous (other) form of publication.

Very best,


True Ret
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-11-18 06:28:50 PST (-0800)

Although one “naked” sequence is better than nothing, the ambitions are hopefully improving and getting higher. But it would be a pity if sequences aren’t uploaded at all, if a minimum standard is set and they don’t meet exactly all demands.
And yet, there are lots of sequences made that are kept secret and not published anywhere. I wish I knew why..

One example with pictures in Unite:

This is probably a problem with the way GenBank entries have been documented.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2012-11-18 05:53:03 PST (-0800)

There is no taxonomic standard for supplying data. When all the sequences in a group are matched to each other, ecologists and other non-taxonomists may or may not indicate cap color in the documentation they supply to GenBank. So the white capped entities are probably buried in with the non-white-capped entities under the same name. The best hope is to find a published paper listing the GenBank accession numbers and supplying more information than was transmitted to GenBank.

I will contact Anne on this point.

Very best,


By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-11-18 01:53:07 PST (-0800)

Fascinating background story! In Sweden, I have only seen phalloides in hardwood habitats (oak, hazel), the white form just a couple of times.

I have seen the one and only sequenced collection of var. alba at GenBank, and it does differ from the other phalloides..

At present, the studies of A. phalloides in the Pringle Lab. at Harvard…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2012-11-16 07:44:15 PST (-0800)

support the position that the white-capped specimens are a white color variant and not a distinct taxon of A. phalloides. These studies are the ones that did large population genetic examination of phalloides and were able to trace several eastern strains of the species back to Norway. There are records indicating that Citizen Conservation Corps projects during the Great Depression planted pines and Picea abies (Norway Spruce) from at least two Norwegian nurseries. In the eastern U.S. phalloides is often found with these trees.


Created: 2012-11-03 07:47:53 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2012-11-16 17:13:11 PST (-0800)
Viewed: 127 times, last viewed: 2016-10-28 07:34:46 PDT (-0700)
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