PMB 113 Fall 2007 lecture: Wednesdays 2 - 3pm
lab: Mondays 2 - 5pm
California Mushrooms Course control number 70968
webpage: download course info pdf

Table of Contents
  • Description
  • Objectives
  • Syllabus
  • Fungal Dichotomous Keys
  • Helpful Links
  • Fungal Nomenclature
  • Fungal Groups
  • List of Readings
  • Grades
  • Collection project
  • Lab practicals
  • Microscope checkoff list
  • Instructors
  • Class Photo

  • top Description
    This is a hands-on class in identification of macrofungi. Emphasis will be on laboratory work with fresh and dried fungi. Lectures on Wednesday focus on mushroom systematics, collection techniques and identification. Three weekend fieldtrips are required in addition to the weekly laboratory. Previous course experience with fungi is recommended but not required. Grades are based on tests and a collection (see below).

    top Objectives
    1. Learn to recognize the major genera and common species of macrofungi in California
    2. Learn to key out unknown species
    3. Learn proper collection procedures for macrofungi
    We will not stress higher-level classification, as many of the families are currently in a state of flux. The same could also be said for the genera, but we feel that learning the currently used names will continue to be of value for identification even as newly proposed genera achieve acceptance.

    top Syllabus
    Topics covered in individual labs will probably vary; dependent on availability of fresh material, from that given below, but this is an approximation of the topics we plan to cover.

    date topics lec notes slides (big)
    Monday 8/27/07 lab Using the microscope, sectioning and examining mushrooms microscope
    instructions ppt
    Wednesday 8/29/07 lect Structures of mushrooms used for identification mushroom
    intro 2007
    Monday 9/03/07 Labor Day Holiday
    Wednesday 9/05/07 lect

    Polypores and other Aphyllophorales

    Monday 9/10/07 lab Common lawn mushrooms handout collecting
    keys ppt
    Wednesday 9/12/07 lect Agaricaceae, Psathyrellaceae, Bolbitiaceae handout lecture ppt
    Monday 9/17/07 lab Polypores and others polypores lecture ppt
    Wednesday 9/19/07 lect Amanitaceae Amanitaceae lecture ppt
    Monday 9/24/07 lab Amanita
    Wednesday 9/26/07 lect "tricholomataceae" - a hodgepodge of white spored agarics common genera lecture ppt
    Saturday 9/29/07 field
    Saturday Fieldtrip to Point Reyes or Salt Point
    leave early Saturday morning, return late afternoon. Cost: free
    Monday 10/01/07 lab work on collections from fieldtrip (tricholomataceae)
    Wednesday 10/03/07 lect Russulales
    Monday 10/8/07 lab Russulales
    Wednesday 10/10/07 lect Boletales
    Monday 10/15/07 lab boletes and relatives
    Wednesday 10/17/07 lect "Pink" spored Agaricales
    Monday 10/22/07 test MIDTERM lab exam
    Wednesday 10/24/07 lect Strophariaceae, Cortinariaceae
    Saturday 10/27/07 field Friday-Sunday Fieldtrip to Redwood National Park
    Sunday 10/28/07 trip (leave Friday afternoon, return mid afternoon Sunday. Estimated cost: $40
    Monday 10/29/07 lab work on collections from fieldtrip
    Wednesday 10/31/07 lect Gomphales, coral fungi, and Cantharellales
    Monday 11/05/07 lab gasteromycetes
    Wednesday 11/07/07 lect gasteromycetes" another non-phyllogenetic group
    Monday 11/12/07 lab HOLIDAY
    Wednesday 11/14/07 lect Ascomycetes
    Saturday 11/17/07 field Mendocino Foray leave 7:15 am
    Sunday 11/18/07 trip Mendocino Foray return 5:00 pm. Estimated cost: $40
    Monday 11/19/07 lab fieldtrip collections
    Wednesday 11/21/07 lect mushroom natural history
    Monday 11/26/07 lab Ascomycetes
    Wednesday 11/28/07 lect Mushroom poisons
    Monday 12/03/07 lab work on collections
    Wednesday 12/05/07 lect Overview of major groups and common species
    Monday 12/10/07 test Lab review - last day to turn in collections
    Tuesday 12/18/07 test Final exam - in lab

    top Fungal Dichotomous Keys On-Line
    Below you will find links to taxonomic keys for common genera of fungi. The Pacific Northwest Key Council also has a key to their keys here. Some groups or genera may not be below that are found on either the PNW Key Council site or the Common Fungi of Salt Point pdf. Also, see the links below for some helpful sites on identifying mushrooms.

    Pacific Northwest Key Council
    Common Fungi of Salt Point State Park
    Other Keys
    Dr. Else Vellinga's key to Agaricaeae
    Amanita Amanita
    Armillaria Armillaria
    Boletus Boletes
    Botryobasidium University of Tubingen
    Bovista Lycoperdaceae
    Calvatia Lycoperdaceae
    Cantharellus Chanterelles
    Chlorophyllum Chlorophyllum Dr. Else Vellinga's key to species of Chlorophyllum
    Chroogomphus Gomphidiaceae
    Clavaria Club Fungi
    Clavariadelphus Club Fungi
    Clitocybe Clitocybe
    Clitopilus Entolomataceae
    Collybia Gymnopusoid
    Coprinus Coprinus
    Crepidotus Crepidotus
    Cyathus Niduraliaceae
    Cystoderma Cystoderma
    Discina Helvellaceae
    Echinoporia University of Tubingen
    Entoloma Entolomataceae
    Fomitopsis Polypores
    Ganoderma Polypores
    Geastrum Geastraceae
    Genea -North American Truffling Society

    -Truffle Key (Ascos)

    Geopora Pezizales
    Gomphidius Gomphidiaceae
    Gomphus Veined Fungi
    Gymnopilus Gymnopilus
    Gyromitra Helvellaceae
    Helvella Helvellaceae
    Hericium Toothed Fungi
    Hydnum Toothed Fungi
    Hygrophorus Hygrophorus
    Hypnodontia University of Tubingen
    Inocybe Inocybe
    Lactarius Lactarius
    Leccinum Boletes
    Lentinellus Lentinellus
    Lentinus Lentinellus
    Lepiota Lepiota
    Leptonia Entolomataceae
    Limacella Limacella
    Lycoperdon Lycoperdaceae
    Marasmius Marasmioid Fungi
    Morchella Morels
    Mycena Mycenoid1 Mycenoid2
    Panaeolus Panaeolus
    Panellus Pleurotoid
    Panus Pleurotoid
    Peziza Pezizaceae
    Phaeolus Polypores
    Phellinus Polypores
    Pholiota Pholiota
    Pleurotus Pleurotoid
    Pluteus Mushroom Expert
    Polyporus Polypores
    Psathyrella Psathyrella
    Ramaria Ramaria1 Ramaria2
    Russula Russula1 Russula2 The Russulales
    Schizopora University of Tubingen
    Scleroderma Sclerodermataceae Truffle Key (Basids)
    Stereum Crusts
    Suillus Boletes
    Tofispora University of Tubingen
    Trametes Polypores
    Tricholoma Tricholoma Key to Tricholoma of Quebec
    Tricholomopsis Tricholomopsis
    Tuber -North American Truffling Society

    -Truffle Key (Ascos)

    Tylopilus Boletes
    Tyromyces Polypores
    Verpa Morels & False Morels
    Xylaria Club Fungi

    topHelpful Links For Identifying Mushrooms

    Match Maker:
    Match Maker is a great on-line interactive program for identifying mushrooms, you can enter in the key morphological characters of your fungus and then the program automatically searches for potential matches in its database.

    Mushroom Photos:
    the following are links to sites with detailed mushroom photography and tutorials on how to collect and identify fungi.

    topFungal Nomenclature
    the site Index Fungorum can be used to search for species of fungi and find helpful photos and descriptions of them.
    topFungal Groups
    These pages and links have been established for the students (current and prospective) as a visual guide that will follow the course and provide helpful study guides. The links below will take you to a photo gallery that is organized by family groups of California's mushrooms.
    Bolbitiaceae Boletaceae Cortinariaceae
    Polypores/Aphyllophorales Russulaceae Tricholomataceae
    Agaricaceae Amanitaceae Coprinaceae
    Coral fungi Entolomataceae Gomphidiaceae
    Letiotaceae Paxillaceae Pluteaceae

    top List of Readings
    Required book:
    Mushrooms Demystified. David Arora, Ten Speed Press, 2nd edition.

    Recommended books:
    How to Identify Mushrooms ot Genus VI: Modern Genera. David Largent and Timothy Baroni, Mad River Press.

    How to identify Mushrooms to Genus III: Microscopic features. David Largent, David Johnson, Roy Watling. Mad River Press.

    General Literature and Web References

    top Grades - a total of 1000 pt are possible for the course: If you receive at least 90, 80, or 70% of the points you will receive at least an A, B or C respectively

    top Collection project
    Each student will collect, identify, dry, label, and turn in a set of macrofungi. Each individual specimen should include properly dried material (i.e., one or more fruiting bodies), ideally a spore print, and a typed collection label containing: the scientific name of the fungus (including authority, if identified to species), date, location, habitat, collector, and brief notes on the distinguishing macroscopic and microscopic features that are the basis of the identification. A digital photo would also be useful, but is not required. Correct identifications are worth 10pt for each different genus, and 5 pts for each different species. Note that species level identifications are not necessary, but you will get more credit for species level identifications. If you do identify collections to species it is expected that you will consult additional technical keys beyond those in Mushrooms Demystified for the final determination. Points are deducted for misidentified specimens (-5 for genus, -3 for species), but if they are then identified correctly and returned they are worth the standard points minus the deduction (so approximately half credit). Points will be deducted if the material is too young, too old, or rotten, or if the label information is incorrect or incomplete.

    Up to two collections can be turned in with detailed descriptions of the macroscopic and microscopic features. These collections are worth an additional 25 pts each. The description should be in the format that one might use if describing a specimen for publication as a new species. Full descriptions are worth a maximum of 25 pts each; points may be deducted if the descriptions are unclear or incomplete.

    Total possible points for the collect project is 400. This can be achieved in various ways. Below is one example that is based on the minimum number of specimens:
    30 different genera correctly identified 30 X10 = 300
    10 of the above correctly identified to species 10 X 5 = 50
    2 full descriptions of any of the above collections
    (at least one required)
    2 X 25 = 50
    Total = 400

    top Lab practicals
    Lab practicals will test your ability to recognize common genera and species that you have seen in the class, and to identify morphological features associated with mushroom taxonomy. They will be open book tests because you will need to key many of the specimens. However, you will not have enough time to key all the specimens on the test. This is because you are expected to be able to sight identify genera and species that you have seen before in the class.

    top Microscopic checkoff list
    This is new this year. We are trying it as a devise to get people to become more familiar with microscopic characters and spore colors. The list, download [pdf] [excel], includes a set of feature that you are likely to encounter as you examine your mushroom collections. Lecture material, and the book How to identify Mushrooms to Genus III: Microscopic Features, will help you identify these features. When you succeed is finding them, have one of the instructors confirm it, and initial your sheet. Each correctly identified feature is worth 2 pts up to a maximum point total of 100 pts. If you encounter unique microscopic morphologies not listed on the check sheet, these can be added for equal credit. You can gain an additional point by using the lab camera (or your own) to take a digital image of a given structure that is good enough to include on the lab website. Download the microscope instructions pdf.

    25 Bonus points are given if you volunteer 3 hrs at the Fungus Fair. This takes place at the Oakland Museum on December 1 and 2. Helping sort on Friday night November 30 is a great way to review. A signup sheet will be available a week or so before this event.

    top Instructor:
    Tom Bruns, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology and Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management.
    Office hours: 9-10am Mondays and Thursdays, or by appointment
    Office: 321c Koshland Hall
    email: - a very effective way to make appointments!
    phone: 510-642-7987

    Graduate Student Instuctor:
    Nicole Hynson, Department of Environmental Science Policy & Management
    Office hours: Wednesday 3-4 pm or by appointment
    Office: 321 Koshland Hall
    phone: 510-643-5483

    Visiting Lecturer:
    Else Vellinga, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
    phone: 510-643-5483
    Dr. Vellinga will give one lecture, and is likely to visit the lab occasionally and go on the fieldtrips.

    top Class Photos

    last updated: November 30 2007