An elusive ectomycorrhizal fungus reveals itself: A new species of geopora (pyronemataceae) associated with Pinus edulis

Lluvia Flores-Rentería, Matthew K. Lau, Louis J. Lamit, Catherine A. Gehring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Species of the genus Geopora are important ectomycorrhizal associates that can dominate the communities of some plant taxa, such as pinyon pine (Pinus edulis), a widespread tree of the western United States. Several members of the genus Geopora are known only from ectomycorrhizal root tips and thus have not been described formally. The sporocarps of some Geopora species occur infrequently because they depend on wet years for sporulation. In addition, Geopora sporocarps can be small and may be hypogeous at some developmental stage, limiting the opportunities for describing their morphology. Using molecular and morphological data, we have described a new species of fungus, Geopora pinyonensis, which produced ascocarps after unusually high precipitation at a northern Arizona site in summer 2012. Based on analysis of the ITS and nuLSU regions of the rDNA, G. pinyonensis is a new species of Geopora. It has small sporocarps and ascospores relative to other members of the genus; however, these morphological features overlap with other species. Using rDNA data from sporocarps and ectomycorrhizal root tips, we show that the sporocarps correspond to an abundant species of ectomycorrhizal fungus associated with pinyon pines that is increasing in abundance in drought-affected landscapes and may promote drought tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-563
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Earth pore
  • Ectomycorrhiza
  • Hypogeous fungi
  • Pyronemataceae
  • Sunset crater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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