The genus Amanita should not be split

R.E. Tulloss, T.W.M. Kuijper, E.C. Vellinga, Z.L. Yang, Roy E. Halling, J. Geml, S. Sanchez-Ramirez, S.C. Goncalves, J. Hess, A. Pringle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recently the well-known genus Amanita has been split into two genera, Amanita, a genus of putatively
ectomycorrhizal fungi, and Saproamanita, a genus of putatively saprotrophic fungi. We disagree with this generic
split and argue why Amanita should not be split. The proposal to split the genus does not conform to the recently proposed
guidelines for publishing new genera. Concise amended characterizations are provided for the monophyletic
family Amanitaceae and its two monophyletic genera Amanita and Limacella.2 The characterization of Amanita rests
on a single, unique synapomorphy—schizohymenial ontogeny in its agaricoid and secotioid taxa. We propose a minimal
reorganization of Amanita—removal of stirps Hesleri from subsection Vittadiniae. Some open issues in Amanita
systematics are discussed. Amanita is an emblematic genus and the focus of diverse research programs.
Taxonomists and users of taxonomic and systematic products are used to, and rely on, Amanita as a genus with meaningful,
morphologically defined subdivisions, easy to teach and easy to use. Splitting the genus is unnecessary and
would prove costly—degrading our ability to communicate with each other and complicating connections to past literature.
We argue that the current use of next-generation sequencing in studies of fungal ecology does not necessitate
the splitting of Amanita.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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