Since 2013, routine macrofungal explorations have been carried out in several Shorea robusta-dominated forest areas of tropical eastern India (Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal). Three novel species of Russula Pers. collected recently from these states of India, Russula boddingii Hembrom, D.Chakr., A.Ghosh & K.Das, sp. nov. in subg. Compactae (Fr.) Bon, emend. Buyck & V.Hofst., R. pseudoflavida A.Ghosh, Hembrom, I.Bera & Buyck, sp. nov. in subg. Russula emend. Buyck & V.Hofst., and R. shoreae D.Chakr., A.Ghosh, K.Das & Buyck, sp. nov. in subg. Heterophyllidiae Romagnesi, emend. Buyck & V.Hofst., are described based on morphotaxonomy and molecular data. Russula boddingii Hembrom, D.Chakr., A.Ghosh & K.Das, sp. nov. is characterised by medium to large-sized (30-160 mm) pileus, a more intense blackening of the flesh after cutting or bruising, the unequal, polydymous lamellae with some forkings present at different distances from the stipe, the absence of pileocystidia, the stronger reticulation of the spore ornamentation, the more-slender hyphal endings in the pileipellis and its occurrence under dipterocarps in Asia. Russula pseudoflavida A.Ghosh, Hembrom, I.Bera & Buyck, sp. nov. is unique in having very small to medium sized (10-45 mm) pileus, very long “primordial” hyphae usually with strong incrustations covering most of the surface, distinctly smaller spores and occurrence under Shorea robusta C.F.Gaertn. On the other hand, R. shoreae D.Chakr., A.Ghosh, K.Das & Buyck, sp. nov. is characterised by the absence of strong celery-like taste and odour, and is ectomycorrhizal with Shorea robusta. Detailed morphological descriptions, illustrations, phylogenetic analyses of ITS and three-locus (combined nrLSU-mtSSU-rpb2) phylogeny for these three species are presented in this communication. Comparisons with morphologically similar and genetically related species are also provided.
India, Basidiomycota, Compactae, Heterophyllidiae, Russula, new species