Phylloporus himalayanus, one of the five new species of mushrooms discovered from Uttarakhand. Credit: Das, K. et al/Sci. Rep. (2024)

A team of researchers has discovered five new species of mushrooms and reported sighting two additional species for the first time in the region1.

The findings came from an extensive macrofungal exploration across different parts of the Himalaya in Uttarakhand and Meghalaya. The team, including scientists from Botanical Survey of India and H.N.B. Garhwal University in Uttarakhand, conducted morphological studies and multigene molecular phylogeny to identify the previously unknown species of wild mushrooms.

The newly discovered species are Leccinellum bothii, Phylloporus himalayanus, Phylloporus smithii, Porphyrellus uttarakhandae, and Retiboletus pseudoater. The researchers also report the first-time sightings of Leccinellum sinoaurantiacum and Xerocomus rugosellus in India.

The Indian Himalaya, home to a rich diversity of wild mushrooms, remains poorly studied. The research collected a large number of boletoid mushrooms (a type of mushroom in the Boletaceae family) and analysed them using multigene molecular phylogeny, which provides a comprehensive understanding of the species' evolutionary relationships.