by Alison Bruzek, The Salt at NPR Food (9/23/14)
If you haven't been DNA-sequencing your dinner lately, you've been missing out. In particular, we suggest examining those spongy, wild fungi before you lay them on your pizza.
Bryn Dentinger and Laura Suz, mycologists with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Surrey, England, were curious about what was in their marketplace 'shrooms. So they bought a packet of dried Chinese porcini and took it to the lab.
They picked out 15 pieces and compared sequences of the DNA to a database of known species, creating a phylogenetic tree of Chinese boletes (those are mushrooms with pores rather than gills on the undersides of their caps). What they uncovered, described in PeerJ, were three new species, identified in previous fungi lineages but never before named or described.
They took the opportunity to name them themselves — the graphically accurate but unpalatable-sounding Boletus bainiugan ("white beef liver"), Boletus meiweiniuganjun ("delicious cattle liver fungus"), and Boletus shiyong ("edible").