Observation 138653: Amanita rubescens var. alba Coker
When: 2013-07-04
Herbarium specimen reported

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Actually it is a bit more complicated.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-07-20 15:31:10 MDT (-0600)

In the case of Amanita, the name Amanita alba has already been used; so neither of the varietal names can become a valid species name.

But if the case were different, a varietal name can only have priority at the rank of variety. Hence, there is no rule about raising a varietal name to species rank based on priority. In fact, it is possible to create a new species name and ignore a previously existing name at the rank of variety for the same organism although you will hear complaints if this is done. If a varietal name is to be changed in rank, one might want to avoid doing it if the name is very similar to another existing species name…even if the similarity is greater than that governed by rules or recommendations in the Nomenclatural Code. If the name has no outstanding problems and is very distinctive, then it would probably be a good idea to raise it to species rank. However, there is no special rule for recombination in either case except rules that apply to all species names and rules that apply to the author citation for a name that has been changed in rank or moved from one genus to another, etc.

Very best,


Very cool
By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2014-07-20 11:20:29 MDT (-0600)

Hi Rod, I have a slightly unrelated question. When two names such as Amanita rubescens var. alba, and Amanita vaginata var. alba, are raised to species status, which one takes precedence (which one gets to keep the epithet ‘alba’)Thank you!

It could be.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-07-20 11:03:09 MDT (-0600)

Quick drying (reduced exposure to moisture), but avoiding temperatures over 115 degrees F is good. Water and heat are two things that damage DNA.

The processes involved in sequencing are dominantly “wet chemistry.” Problems can occur at various stages. If we really need a good sequence, it is possible to chemically grab off different parts of the sequence and combine the results later to make a better sequence.

Normally, what we do with the barcode gene is to sequence it forward and reverse with processes that CAN go from one end of the gene to the other. However, for more supporting data it is possible to read about the first half of the gene from the “middle” backward and from a slightly different point in the “middle,” forward. So you can get four pieces to overlay and compare. Each of the sequences is called a “read.” So we can get four reads if we need them (even more if necessary). Since each character is associated with information about the strength and quality (two different metrics) of that character’s “signal,” a computer (and better, a human being) can judge how to make something useful when data from multiple reads conflicts for some character.

By the way the characters symbolize the nucleotides or bases that make up a gene.

Very best,


By: Eric Smith (esmith)
2014-07-20 08:23:05 MDT (-0600)

for the feedback, Rod. Could poor drying technique be the cause of the missing characters?

We obtained a partial nrITS sequence for the material of this observation.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-07-18 21:59:42 MDT (-0600)

While the sequence is missing several characters at both ends, the roughly 500 characters we have is consistent with the sequences that we currently believe are derived from rubescens var. alba.

Very best,


Thanks Eric,
By: groundhog
2014-04-18 12:20:41 MDT (-0600)

This material has been recieved and accessioned to Rod’s herbarium. We have also scheduled it for DNA sequencing.

Thanks, Eric.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2013-07-05 19:21:27 MDT (-0600)

Your efforts are very much appreciated.

We are really finding a lot of interesting stuff in the process of this project. Sometimes I work all day and get the data organized and realized that the problems have gone more complex!

Interesting stuff…these “common” species.

Very best,


Thanks Rod.
By: Eric Smith (esmith)
2013-07-05 19:04:19 MDT (-0600)

I’m aware of the combined effort and I have this material drying. I’ve collected material for all these Amanita observations but I don’t always acknowledge herbarium specimens until they’re correctly dried and packaged. I’ll be sending this to you along with the other material.

Hello, Eric.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2013-07-05 09:00:05 MDT (-0600)

I agree with your determination. It looks like your getting very photogenic material this summer.

This is the year we are going to try to sequence as much of the rubescent material of the world as we can with the help of collaborators like Dr. Hughes at Univ. of Tenn., Knoxville. This collection looks like something we should sample for sequencing.

If you run into this again, we’d be interested in some dried material if you have the time to collect and dry.

Very best,


Created: 2013-07-04 22:55:30 MDT (-0600)
Last modified: 2014-07-19 07:33:32 MDT (-0600)
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