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Accurate diagnosis of the components of our food and a standard lexicon for clear communication is essential for regulating global food trade and identifying food frauds. Reliable identification of wild collected foods can be particularly difficult, especially when they originate in under-documented regions or belong to poorly known groups such as Fungi. Porcini, one of the most widely traded wild edible mushrooms in the world, are large and conspicuous and they are used as a food both on their own and in processed food products. China is a major exporter of porcini, most of it ending up in Europe. We used DNA-sequencing to identify three species of mushroom contained within a commercial packet of dried Chinese porcini purchased in London. Surprisingly, all three have never been formally described by science and required new scientific names. This demonstrates the ubiquity of unknown fungal diversity even in widely traded commercial food products from one of the most charismatic and least overlooked groups of mushrooms. Our rapid analysis and description makes it possible to reliably identify these species, allowing their harvest to be monitored and their presence tracked in the food chain.
This is version 2 of the article following initial review.
Aligned sequences in Phylip format
This is a file containing aligned ITS sequences used for the phylogenetic analyses.