Laccaria bicolor

Laccaria bicolor is a small tan-colored mushroom with lilac gills. It is edible but not choice,[2] and grows in mixed birch and pine woods. It is found in the temperate zones of the globe, in late summer and autumn.[3] L. bicolor is an ectomycorrhizal fungus used as a soil inoculant in agriculture and horticulture.

Laccaria bicolor
Laccaria, DOE.jpg
Scientific classification
L. bicolor
Binomial name
Laccaria bicolor
(Maire) P.D.Orton (1960)
  • Laccaria laccata var. bicolor Maire (1937)
  • Laccaria proxima var. bicolor (Maire) Kuhner & Romagn. (1953)
  • Laccaria laccata var. pseudobicolor Bon (1982)
Laccaria bicolor
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium
cap is convex or depressed
hymenium is adnate
stipe is bare
spore print is white
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: edible


It was initially described as a subspecies of Laccaria laccata by French mycologist René Maire in 1937, before being raised to species rank by P.D. Orton in 1960.[4] Like others in its genus it has the common name of 'Deceiver', because of its propensity to fade and become hard to identify.[5]


The cap is 2–4.5 cm (0.8–1.8 in) across, convex to flat, and with a central navel. It is often incurved at the margin, and is various shades of ochraceous-buff, and tan, depending on moisture content. The fibrillose stipe is the same color, and with a distinct lilac down towards the base. The flesh is whitish, tinged with pink, or ochraceous, and has no apparent distinctive smell, or taste. The gills are pale lilac at first, fading paler. The spores are white.[3] The picture on the right shows young specimens with quite vivid coloration. More often, they are found duller in appearance.[3]

Distribution and habitatEdit

This species is mycorrhizal with a range of trees, and is found throughout the temperate zones of the world, in summer and autumn. This includes temperate and boreal forests of North America and probably Northern Europe.[6] It seems to prefer birch and pine woods.[3]


Laccaria bicolor is one of a number of species of carnivorous fungi, but one of the few that catches and kills arthropods, specifically springtails.[7]


This species forms ectomycorrhizal associations with a wide variety of tree species, such as red pine, jack pine, and black spruce.[8][9][10] Studies have shown that L. bicolor is more effective in early colonization of pine roots compared to other ectomycorrhiza forming fungi.[8][11] In field studies, it preferentially colonizes and improves the survival of red pine.[8][9] Actinobacteria isolates, e.g. from the genus Streptomyces, obtained from old growth Norway spruce field sites have been shown to stimulate the growth of Laccaria bicolor in the laboratory. [12]


Laccaria bicolor was the first ectomycorrhizal fungus to have its genome sequenced.[13] The genome is 65 megabases long and is estimated to contain 20,000 protein coding genes. Analysis revealed a large number of small secreted proteins of unknown function, several of which are only expressed in symbiotic tissues, where they probably play a role in initiating symbiosis. It lacks enzymes that are able to degrade plant cell walls but does possess enzymes which can degrade other polysaccharides, revealing how it is able to grow both in soil and in association with plants.[14]


  1. ^ "Laccaria bicolor (Maire) P.D. Orton, Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 43 (2): 177, 1960". MycoBank. International Mycological Association. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  2. ^ Phillips, Roger (2010). Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-55407-651-2.
  3. ^ a b c d Roger Phillips (2006). Mushrooms. Pan MacMillan. ISBN 978-0-330-44237-4.
  4. ^ Orton PD. (1960). "New check list of British Agarics and Boleti, part III (keys to Crepidotus, Deconica, Flocculina, Hygrophorus, Naucoria, Pluteus and Volvaria)". Transactions of the British Mycological Society. 43 (2): 159–439 (see p. 177). doi:10.1016/s0007-1536(60)80065-4.
  5. ^ Money NP. (2011). Mushroom. Oxford University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-19-973256-2.
  6. ^ Mueller GM, Gardes M. (1991). "Intra- and interspecific relations within Laccaria bicolor sensu lato". Mycological Research. 95 (5): 592–601. doi:10.1016/s0953-7562(09)80073-7.
  7. ^ Klironomos, J. N.; Hart, M. M. (2001). "Food-web dynamics. Animal nitrogen swap for plant carbon". Nature. 410 (6829): 651–2. Bibcode:2001Natur.410..651K. doi:10.1038/35070643. PMID 11287942. S2CID 4418192.
  8. ^ a b c Richter, DL; Bruhn, JN (1989). "Field survival of containerized red and jack pine seedlings inoculated with mycelial slurries of ectomycorrhizal fungi". New Forest. 3 (3): 247–258. doi:10.1007/bf00028932. S2CID 43661925.
  9. ^ a b Richter, DL; Bruhn, JN (1993). "Mycorrhizal colonization of Pinus resinosa Ait. transplanted on northern hardwood clearcuts". Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 25: 335–369. doi:10.1016/0038-0717(93)90135-X.
  10. ^ Wong, KKY; Piche, Y; Fortin, JA (1990). "Differential development of root colonization among four closely related genotypes of ectomycorrhizal Laccaria bicolor". Mycological Research. 90 (7): 876–884. doi:10.1016/S0953-7562(09)81300-2.
  11. ^ Buschena, CA; Doudrick, RL; Anderson, NA (1992). "Persistence of Laccaria spp. as ectomycorrhizal symbionts of container grown black spruce". Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 22 (12): 1883–1887. doi:10.1139/x92-246.
  12. ^ Schrey, Silvia D.; et al. (2012). "Production of fungal and bacterial growth modulating secondary metabolites is widespread among mycorrhiza-associated streptomycetes". BMC Microbiology. 12 (1): 164. doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-164. PMC 3487804. PMID 22852578.
  13. ^ Martin, F.; Selosse, M. (2008). "The Laccaria genome: a symbiont blueprint decoded". New Phytologist. 180 (2): 296–310. CiteSeerX doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02613.x. PMID 19138220.
  14. ^ Martin, F.; Aerts, A.; Ahrén, D.; Brun, A.; Danchin, E.; Duchaussoy, F.; Gibon, J.; Kohler, A.; Lindquist, E.; Pereda, V.; Salamov, A.; Shapiro, H. J.; Wuyts, J.; Blaudez, D.; Buée, M.; Brokstein, P.; Canbäck, B.; Cohen, D.; Courty, P. E.; Coutinho, P. M.; Delaruelle, C.; Detter, J. C.; Deveau, A.; Difazio, S.; Duplessis, S.; Fraissinet-Tachet, L.; Lucic, E.; Frey-Klett, P.; Fourrey, C.; Feussner, I. (2008). "The genome of Laccaria bicolor provides insights into mycorrhizal symbiosis". Nature. 452 (7183): 88–92. Bibcode:2008Natur.452...88M. doi:10.1038/nature06556. PMID 18322534.