Category Archives: Research

CMS Meeting: “Diversity and dispersal of tropical forest Xylariaceae” with Roo Vandegrift, Thursday, November 13, 2014

Roo Vandegrift is the invited speaker for the November Cascade Mycological Society Meeting.  Meet at  7:00 pm, room 115, Science Building (Building 16) at Lane Community College in Eugene.

There will be a mushroom show and tell identification session prior to the speaker. Bring what’s in your basket, edible or not, and learn from the experienced members of our community. The talk is free and open to the public.

Roo Vandegrift

Roo Vandegrift

About Roo

Roo Vandegrift was born in the Appalachian mountains of southwestern Virginia, but spent most of his childhood as an Air Force brat. He grew up in a succession of remarkably similarly boring military bases set in remarkably interestingly diverse locations around the world before his parents settled back in Virginia. Roo completed his undergraduate work at Virginia Tech, in Dr. RH Jones’ soil ecology lab, and then worked for several years at a venture capital funded biotech company, where he learned the meaning of “cut-throat” and “exit strategy.” Moving back to his roots, so to speak, he took a lab technician job with Dr. Brenda Casper at the University of Pennsylvania. There, he decided that he really did like fungal ecology enough to start a career in the field.

Roo is now in the fifth, and hopefully final, year of a PhD program in Dr. Bitty Roy’s lab at the University of Oregon, with a fair bit of shared advising by Dr. George Carroll. He received the NSF GRFP in 2011, and the MSA Graduate Fellowship in 2013, in addition to awards from the Sonoma County Mycological Association, the Cascade Mycological Society, and the Mycological Society of San Francisco. Also in 2013, he participated in NSF’s East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI) program in Taiwan, where he was able to work with the incomparable taxonomist Dr. Yu-Ming Ju. In 2014, MSA graciously awarded him the Mentor/Student Travel Award in honor of Dr. Alexopoulos.

Roo’s research is varied, and is tied together by endophytes, the fungi that live asymptomatically in the leaves and other tissues of plants. Among other things, he studies the role of a host-specific Epichloë endophyte in the invasion ecology of a noxious invasive grass in the Pacific Northwest, and the dispersal ecology of Xylaria endophytes in tropical systems, including Ecuador and Taiwan. At this year’s MSA meeting, he was awarded the Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation for his talk on the Epichloë/invasion ecology work, and the paper resulting from that project was recently accepted for publication in Biological Invasions.

After graduation, Roo intends to work on a thoroughly illustrated treatment of the Xylaria of the cloud forest of Ecuador, which will give him an excuse to spend most of a year drawing pictures of some the most morphologically interesting fungi in world. He expects to be actively seeking postdocs in 2016 or ’17, in projects that will allow him to continue practicing illustration as well as mycology. Roo has a particular interest in the taxonomy of neo-tropical stromatic ascomycetes and wood-rot fungi, as well as the ecology of symbiosis, particularly endophytism.

Radical Mycology

Peter McCoy is seeking contributions for a new book on the current state of the field of mycology. In short, the book will be a user friendly guide to the entire fungal kingdom, exploring its many ecological roles as well as the ways that humans can cultivate and interact with the various forms of fungi found around the world. The book will also highlight the various aspects of mycology that are “cutting edge,” in need of citizen scientist contribution, or are otherwise exciting for those new to the field. The book will be both entertaining as well as technical and instructional. He is looking for information, suggestions, and/or contributions in the following areas:

  • Current or future fields of research on mychorriza that are exciting, pressing, or considered a “big unknown.”
  • Common, interesting, popular, edible, medicinal, or utilitarian fungi found in your part of the world. Names, photographs, and information on the best practices for harvesting, identifying, and using them as well as when and where to find them.
  • Information on local traditional uses of fungi and lichens in your part of the world (ethnomycology)

He is also looking to interview people that have knowledge in these areas. Contact Peter at to lend a hand.

CMS Meeting: “Plants that Eat Truffles for Lunch” Thursday, January 9, 2014

dan laumaDr. Dan Luoma, professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, will describe the fascinating interactions between forest plants and their associated mushroom and truffle fungi. Dr. Daniel Luoma received his B.S. in Physical Geography from the University of Oregon and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecological Plant Geography from Oregon State University.  Dan’s teaching includes general mycology, workshops and field courses on forest mycology, and readings in fields of mycorrhizae and small mammal mycophagy. His research covers several integrated research projects in the field of Read more »

Mushroom Species Lists 2010

Mt. Pisgah Mushroom Species List has been updated for 2010 to include data up to the 2009 Mushroom Show.

Download the mt_pisgah_show_list_1983-2009 (PDF), or mt_pisgah_show_list_1983-2009 (XLS).

Tricholoma Flavovirens Toxicology Research

Indications of hepatic and cardiac toxicity caused by subchronic Tricholoma
detalle laminas

P. Nieminena, V. Kärjäb, and A.-M. Mustonena
Food and Chemical Toxicology
Volume 46, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 781-786

The confirmed finding of increased plasma CK activities and the novel observations of the present study – increased CK-MB activities, elevated plasma bilirubin concentrations and signs of pericardial inflammation – indicate that regular T. flavovirens consumption should not be recommended.

The results also enforce previous findings that the harmful effects probably require prolonged exposure and high amounts of ingested mushroom. In this context, occasional consumption of T. flavovirens would probably be harmless except in sensitive individuals, such as persons on medication, children or during pregnancy (see also Tofani, 2003).

Due to the findings of toxicity after repeated meals and controversy regarding the taxonomical position of T. flavovirens, the marketing of T. equestre (or T. flavovirens or T. auratum) was recently prohibited in Italy (Ministero della Salute, 2002), France (Ministère de la Sante et des Solidarites, 2004) and Spain (Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo, 2006) and, in contrast to the situation after the first findings of toxicity (Korhonen, 2002), T. flavovirens is no longer considered edible in the most
recent Finnish textbooks (Salo et al., 2006).

5. Conclusions
(1) No morbidity or mortality could be detected in the mice consuming freshly frozen T. flavovirens at 12 g kg?1 d?1 for 4 weeks. (2) The exposed mice had higher plasma bilirubin concentrations and higher CK and CK-MB activities than the control mice indicating hepato-, myo- and cardiotoxicity. (3) Signs of hepato- or myotoxicity were not present in the histological samples, but the cardiac samples showed increased incidence of pericardial inflammation in the T. flavovirens-fed mice. (4) Repeated consumption of T. flavovirens should be avoided.

Amazon Mycorenewal Project

Between 1964 and 1992, Texaco spilled over 18.5 billion gallons of highly toxic waste into 600 open unlined pits. Little has been cleaned up. These pools contain a mixture of oil, heavy metals and radioactive substances that continues to overflow and seep into the water table, resurfacing in rivers and wells.

The Amazon Mycorenewal Project brings this exciting technique to the Amazon for
the first time ever. A coalition of Ecuadorian and international non-governmental organizations is partnering with local people to remediate their lands using mycelium as well as grow edible and medicinal mushrooms for consumption and income generation.

Matsutake Survey Volunteers Needed

The Deschutes National Forest, in conjunction with Pine Mushroom Sept 23, is conducting surveys of matsutake fruiting grounds to identify the impact of forest thinning. The American matsutake is a highly prized edible mushroom, the commercial harvest representing a multimillion dollar industry. Volunteers will help locate matsutake mushrooms and collect soil samples and field data. Matsutake have a symbiotic relationship with “candystick” plants (see below), which are used by volunteers and mushroom harvesters, to locate the mushrooms.

When: Mid Sept – Mid Oct

Contact: Desiree Johnson –at- 541-678-3003 -or-

2010 Matsutake Survey Volunteers Needed

Mushroom Species Lists 2009

We have updated species lists for the Mt. Pisgah Mushroom Show, Hendricks Park and the Common Mushroom Check List:

  • hendricks_park_species_list_2009-02-17
  • mt_pisgah_show_list_1983-2008
  • common_mushroom_checkoff_list_2009-02-23
  • Thanks to Bruce for providing this excellent resource! The lists now contain data for 25 years at the Mt. Pisgah.

    American Academy of Microbiology colloquium report on Fungi

    The American Academy of Microbiology has released its newest colloquium report, “The Fungal Kingdom: Diverse and Essential Roles in Earth’s Ecosystem.”

    The report is the product of a colloquium convened by the Academy in November 2007, where experts in mycology, medicine, plant pathogens, and ecology discussed the current state of research in mycology and compiled a list of specific recommendations for future work. This report explores the roles fungi play in the world around us. Fungi can cause a number of life-threatening diseases, but they also are becoming increasingly useful to science and manufacturing every year. Research is critically needed in this field to bring about a better understanding of this kingdom.

    You may access the report in its entirety at American Academy of Microbiology.

    Ongoing CMS Student Scholarship/Grant

    CMS has been proud to offer the Outstanding Research Project Scholarship since 2008. The scholarship is for college students (community college, undergraduate, or graduate) who are engaging in mycology research. The scholarship will be awarded for the research project that forward the understanding of the biology and ecology of fungi or that demonstrates the practical uses of fungi. The successful candidate will receive up to $1,000 and will be expected to present the results of her research at a CMS general meeting. Applications are due annually by March 1.  For more information, please e-mail

    Download the application