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   Location:Home > Research > Research Progress
Edible yellow chanterelles com-monly sold in mushroom markets of Yunnan are Cantharellus yunnanensis
Author: Shao Shicheng
Update time: 2021-03-23
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Cantharellus is a genus of fungi (family Agaricaceae). Cantharellus cibarius is the type species of the genus. It is widely viewed as among the most desirable of edible mushrooms. Together with some other yellow chanterelles, Cantharellus cibarius has been recorded among the edible mushrooms sold in markets in China and is commonly referred to as Ji-You-Jun, meaning chicken fat, due to its yellow color. However, the study did not include a morphological description of the collections and there was no evidence available for the identified species. 

“It becomes very important to confirm the species identity and carry out taxonomic re-evaluation of this fungi genus by using integrated taxonomic approaches,” said Dr. SHAO Shicheng of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG). 

XTBG researchers and their collaborators collected yellow chanterelles from various sites and markets in Guizhou, Jilin and Yunnan Provinces from 2007 to 2019 for morphological and molecular analysis. They amplified the transcription elongation factor 1-alpha (tef-1α) gene with the primers tef1F and tef1R and analyzed the tef-1α sequences by using the maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods. 

The morphological and molecular analysis confirmed that the edible yellow chanterelles com-monly sold in the mushroom markets of Yunnan Province are not C. cibarius, but C. yunnanensis instead. The epithet “yunnanensis” refers to the distribution of these species in different areas of Yunnan Province, China. 

Moreover, the researchers presented a new and accurate record of C. cibarius from the northeastern part in China, based on morphological and molecular evidence. They thus confirm that the distribution of C. cibarius is not restricted to northern Europe and America. The occurrence of C. cibarius in China is limited to Northern China. 

Since C. cibarius and C. yunnanensis are very similar morphologically, it’s difficult to identify them. The researchers propose the general coloration as a key feature for identifying and delimiting both species: C. cibarius displays an orange-yellow to bright yel-low color and a plane pileus, while C. yunnanensis displays paler basidiomata and a convex pileus. 

The study entitled “New insights into the taxonomy of the genus Cantharellus in China: epityfication of C. yunnanensis W.F. Chiu and the first record of C. cibarius Fr.” has been published in Cryptogamie Mycologie. 



SHAO Shicheng  Ph.D 

Department of Gardening and Horticulture, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China           

E-mail: shaoshicheng@xtbg.org.cn   



Cantharellus cibarius (Image by WANG Xianghu) 


Cantharellus yunnanensis (Image by SHAO Shicheng) 


Edible yellow chanterelles commonly sold in mushroom markets of Yunnan (Image by WANG Xianghu) 

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Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China
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