Observation 8937: Ganoderma oregonense Murrill

Ganoderma tsugae is found on hemlock. This specimen was displayed at the 2006 Oregon Mycological Society Fall Mushroom Show at the World Forestry Center, Oct. 16, 2006. Tag indicates OMS herbarium collection number.


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I am just trying to share the evidence that I have found.
By: Matthew Schink (MSchink)
2015-09-18 06:52:00 CEST (+0200)
Zhou, L.-W., et al. Global diversity of the Ganoderma lucidum complex (Ganodermataceae, Polyporales) inferred from morphology and multilocus phylogeny. Phytochemistry (2014)

This study used the sequence I previously mentioned CBS 266.88 from Tsuga heterophylla (Western Hemlock) that sequence matched with CBS 265.88 from Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir) That is to say they are the same species, which the study concluded was G.oregonense, and clearly distinct from G.tsugae.

I have not actually seen any scientific study that mentions G.tsugae occurring in the west, except those that suggest G.tsugae and G.oregonense are synonymous, Which they are are not.

When Murrill first described G.oregonense, it was alongside two other similar species in the same region, G.seqouiae and G.nevadense. If G.seqouiae is a valid name it is the more widespread of the three based on morphology. Perhaps this explains the differences you see. Currently all three names are considered synonymous under oregonense.

Again I extend an offer to have some of your tsugae finds sequenced and do microscopy on them. I am sending samples to a professor so he can sequence them, I do not know the nature of the study he is currently working on but he is collecting Ganoderma sequences from across North America.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-09-17 19:52:33 CEST (+0200)

Some Ganodermas are variable. Some are not. It is therefore inappropriate to generalize “Ganoderma are not nearly as picky about tree hosts as people have previously assumed.” Specific strains are very specific.

It does not look like the genus G. oregonense has been sorted out yet, leading to questions about host specificity in the group. The described species of G. oregonense is very much different IMO than what has been called G. tsugae.

While waiting for scientific reorganization, using the current nomenclation seems easiest. Wrong, perhaps…but easiest. Kind of like when Morchella was being attempted to be sorted out; or when Laetiporus coniferarum was added to the mixture Laetiporus.

Here is a sequence.
By: Matthew Schink (MSchink)
2015-09-17 16:23:21 CEST (+0200)

From material deposited by J.E. Adaskaveg. Growing on Tsuga heterophylla. This sequence groups with G.oregonense, not G.tsugae when plugged into Geneious software.

Strain CBS 266.88



Not so picky.
By: Matthew Schink (MSchink)
2015-09-16 21:42:48 CEST (+0200)

Ganoderma are not nearly as picky about tree hosts as people have previously assumed.

I have two specimens of G.sessile, confirmed by DNA that were collected on conifers. One a juniper, one on spruce. I also have G.curtisii from Spruce and White pine, both species are “restricted” to hardwood.

I have also found the Eastern member of the G.applanatum complex very commonly on hemlock as well as various hardwoods. It sometimes grows right alongside G.tsugae.

I have G.tsugae from New York that I found growing on maple that I will also be sending for sequencing.

Very few specimens from the PNW have been sequenced yet by anyone it seems. Not a lot of mycologists seem to care too much about Ganoderma and have stuck to old outdated information.

G.tsugae was once thought to grow in China as well, on various conifers, but when they did the sequencing on Chinese G.tsugae it came back as a match for Ganoderma lucidum from Europe. I would be glad to take specimens you have identified as G.tsugae and send them for sequencing as this is something I have been interested in as well. I think it is mostly just no one has gotten around to doing the sequencing yet. There are a lot of Ganoderma species, and North America has been largely overlooked by contemporary mycologists so far. Nothing like the studies we have coming out of China, rewriting Chinese “lucidum”.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-09-16 16:46:34 CEST (+0200)

There is no other criteria for G. tsugae other than it grows only on Eastern (and Western) hemlock. Sometimes fungi are very picky about what they grow on. While many lignicolous fungi are not so picky, Ganoderma apparently is.

I think that if this was an issue among mycologists DNA would have been used to prove/disprove the issue. But nothing has been done.

Having grown G. tsugae on Western hemlock (Tsugae heterophylla) I can verify that host at least.

Host specificity.
By: Matthew Schink (MSchink)
2015-09-16 03:49:00 CEST (+0200)

What would keep G.oregonense from growing on hemlock? As G.oregonense commonly grows on conifers? Is there anything other than tree host that you use to distinguish G.tsugae from G.oregonense?

The only reliable way to figure out if G.tsugae grows in the PNW would be to send suspected tsugae for sequencing and compare it to G.tsugae in the east. As well as compare the spores, G.tsugae was originally described from New York City, The spores from eastern specimens are consistent in size, if the Western spores match the Eastern spores then they are likely the same species, if the western spores are larger they are likely G.oregonense.

The skeptic in me
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-09-16 01:59:25 CEST (+0200)

wants to believe you, Herbert.

The scientist finds your statement suspect.


While G. tsugae might be differentiated between eastern and western regions and hosts, at this time they are considered the same.

By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2015-09-15 22:03:32 CEST (+0200)

My supposition is based on personal research. It’s always possible it does occur there, but none of the current data backs up that idea. I hope you find my comments helpful rather than inflammatory.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-09-15 08:32:10 CEST (+0200)

of your information, Herbert.

It is customary to provide written proof of statements like “G. tsugae does not occur in the west.”

By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2015-09-14 22:57:55 CEST (+0200)

G. tsugae does not occur in the west. The pileus of G. oregonense is less rugose than G. tsugae and “puffier”, it also includes more blue and dark tones in age than its eastern counterpart.

By: Matthew Schink (MSchink)
2015-09-14 21:57:48 CEST (+0200)

Is largely restricted to the range of Tsuga canadensis (Eastern Hemlock). It is not strictly restricted to Hemlock as a host though and can be found on pine, birch and even maple rarely, but only in the east.

I think that if you were to do microscopy on your specimens in the west from hemlock you would find the spores to be somewhere around 11.7 × 7.2µm give or take. Whereas Eastern G.tsugae has spores averaging around 9.6 × 6.5µm.

G.oregonense may be a species complex of several close species depending on how the DNA comes back, there are some morphological differences, some have a better defined stipe with a firmer flesh, while others have a flesh that is lighter and more fibrous. But in the specimens I have examined at least the spore sizes are consistently different between specimens from the West and specimens in the East.

Tree host is not absolute in Ganoderma, it is more of a preference. G.curtisii has for example been collected from Oak,Maple, White pine, and spruce. G.sessile has been collected from Maple, Oak,Locust, Spruce and Juniper. Both species tend towards hardwoods, but can and do grow on conifers at times, of various species.

In short though it is the spores that should be used to distinguish G.oregonense from G.tsugae. Larger spores are oregonense, the smaller spores will be G.tsugae. I haven’t personally gotten any samples from the West with smaller spores, though I do have at least one from Western hemlock with larger spores.

What is your basis
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-09-14 15:57:54 CEST (+0200)

for calling this G. oregonense, Herbert? Color? Size?

Ganoderma tsugae is specific to Western hemlock. This specimen was found on Western hemlock, hence the name G. tsugae.

Created: 2008-08-11 18:49:47 CEST (+0200)
Last modified: 2017-11-04 07:21:43 CET (+0100)
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