Albatrellus subrubescens: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Albatrellus subrubescens Mushroom
Albatrellus subrubescens is a species of polypore fungus in the family Albatrellaceae. The fruit bodies of the fungus have whitish to pale buff-colored caps that can reach up to 14.5 cm (5.7 in) in diameter, and stems up to 7 cm (2.8 in) long and 2 cm (0.8 in) thick. On the underside of the caps are tiny light yellow to pale greenish-yellow pores, the site of spore production. When the fruit bodies are fresh, the cap and pores stain yellow were exposed, handled, or bruised.
The species is found in Asia, Europe, and North America, where it grows on the ground in deciduous or mixed woods, usually in association with pine trees.
Uncommon to rare in mainland Europe, mostly in the central and southern regions. This species is also reported from temperate parts of Asia and North America, but it is easily confused with other similar species. In particular, it is very difficult for macroscopic characters alone to differentiate between Albatrellus subrubescens and Albatrellus ovinus, the Forest Lamb or Sheep Polypore. Albatrellus subrubescens turns reddish-orange when bruised, whereas Albatrellus ovinus hardly changes at all.
Albatrellus subrubescens Identification
7 to 18cm across, cream with rufous and violet tinges, turning orange when bruised; convex, soon flattening and becoming centrally depressed, distorted and lobed; margin wavy and usually remaining incurved; skin cracks when old or in very dry weather. Often several caps merge and become firmly conjoined.
Creamy white or slightly rufous, turning orange where bruised; 3 to 7cm tall, 1 to 3cm diameter.
White or creamy yellow; irregularly oval; tubes decurrent; 2 to 3 per mm.
Ellipsoidal to ovoid, 3.4-4.7 by 2.2-3.4 µm; amyloid (readily separating this species from Albatrellus ovinus, whose spores are inamyloid), finely warty.
Albatrellus subrubescens Look-Alikes
Has a paler cap surface, and it does not turn orange when bruised. Confident differentiation of these two very similar species requires microscopic examination of the spores, which are amyloid in Albatrellus subrufescens but inamyloid in Albatrellus ovinus.
Described from the Altai Mountains in East-Central Asia, and the Japanese species Albatrellus cantharellus. Unlike A. subrubescens, these species have hairy scales on the surface of their caps, and the scales are darker than the spaces between the scales. Also, the scales of A. subrubescens are not much darker than the area between the scales. Both of these Asian species have larger spores than A. subrubescens: those of A. cantharellus are 4.5–7 by 4–5.5 µm, while those of A. tianschanicus are 5–7 by 4–5 µm.
Has caps that are pinkish-buff to pale orange, and white flesh that dries to a pinkish-buff; it has a bitter taste, or like cabbage. The spores of A. confluens are weakly amyloid. Additional differences distinguishing Albatrellopsis confluens from A. subrubescens include the presence of clamp connections in the context hyphae, and mycelium on the base of the stem.
The European fungus A. citrinus, originally considered a morphotype of A. subrubescens, was described as a new species in 2003. It is distinguished from A. subrubescens morphologically by its smaller caps (up to 7 cm (2.8 in) in diameter), the yellowish bruising of the caps with age or after handling, and the absence of violet spots on the cap. A. citrinus associates with spruce rather than pine, and requires calcareous (lime-rich) soil.
Albatrellus subrubescens Taxonomy & Etymology
Synonyms of Albatrellus subrubescens include Scutiger subrubescens Murrill, Polyporus subrubescens (Murrill) Murrill, Albatrellus similis Pouz., Scutiger ovinus var. subrubescens (Murrill) L.G.Krieglst., and Albatrellus ovinus var. subrubescens (Murrill) L.G.Krieglst.
Albatrellus, the genus name, is not so easy to see through. Alba- means white, of course, while -ellus indicates something much smaller than the norm, and in this instance, it must be the pores. So 'white fungi with very small pores' is the best I can come up with. Any other suggestions? The specific epithet subrubescens means becoming reddish, and indeed some people call this the Redenning Polypore.
Albatrellus subrubescens Bioactive Compounds
Albatrellus subrubescens contains the bioactive compound scutigeral, which has antibiotic activity. This chemical—also found in the related species A. ovinus—may contribute to the mushroom's toxicity by disturbing the body's intestinal flora. Scutigeral interacts selectively to the dopamine receptor D1 subfamily (the most abundant dopamine receptor in the central nervous system, regulating neuronal growth and development, and mediating some behavioral responses).
A 1999 publication suggested that scutigeral has agonistic activity at vanilloid receptors (a receptor found on sensory nerves in mammals); specifically, that it affects the uptake of calcium in the neurons of rat dorsal root ganglia. Later reports failed to corroborate this pharmacological activity.
One 2003 study reported that scutigeral acts as a weak antagonist on the human vanilloid receptor VR1, while another study published that year did not find any activity.
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