(Fr.) P. Kumm. 1871
(Jacq.) P. Kumm. 1871
Pleurotus is a genus of gilled mushrooms which includes one of the most widely eaten mushrooms, P. ostreatus. Species of Pleurotus may be called oyster, abalone, or tree mushrooms, and are some of the most commonly cultivated edible mushrooms in the world. Pleurotus fungi have been used in mycoremediation of pollutants such as petroleum and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
The caps may be laterally attached (with no stem). If there is a stem, it is normally eccentric and the gills are decurrent along it. The term pleurotoid is used for mushrooms having this general shape.
The spores are smooth and elongated (described as "cylindrical"). Where hyphae meet, they are joined by clamp connections. Pleurotus is not considered to be a bracket fungus, and most of the species are monomitic (with a soft consistency). However, remarkably, Pleurotus dryinus can sometimes be dimitic, meaning that it has additional skeletal hyphae, which give it a tougher consistency like bracket fungi.
Pleurotus fungi are found in both tropical and temperate climates throughout the world. Most species of Pleurotus are white-rot fungi on hardwood trees, although some also decay conifer wood. P. eryngii is unusual in its association with herbaceous plants, and P. tuber-regium produces underground sclerotia. In addition to being saprotrophic, all species of Pleurotus are also nematophagous, catching nematodes by paralyzing them with a toxin.
Oyster mushrooms are popular for cooking, torn up instead of sliced, especially in stir fry or saute, because of they are consistently thin, and so will cook more evenly than uncut mushrooms of other types.
The classification of species within the genus Pleurotus is difficult due to high phenotypic variability across wide geographic ranges, geographic overlap of species, and ongoing evolution and speciation. Early taxonomic efforts placed the oyster mushrooms within Agaricus (Agaricus ostreatus Jacq. 1774). Paul Kummer defined the genus Pleurotus in 1871; since then, the genus has been narrowed with species moving to other genera such as Favolaschia, Hohenbuehelia, Lentinus, Marasmiellus, Omphalotus, Panellus, Pleurocybella, and Resupinatus. See Singer (1986) for an example of Pleurotus taxonomy based on morphological characteristics.
More recently, molecular phylogenetics has been utilized to determine genetic and evolutionary relationships between groups within the genus, delineating discrete clades. Pleurotus, along with the closely related genus Hohenbuehelia, has been shown to be monophyletic. Tests of cross-breeding viability between groups have been used to further define which groups are deserving of species rank, as opposed to subspecies, variety, or synonymy. If two groups of morphologically distinct Pleurotus fungi are able to cross-breed and produce fertile offspring, they meet one definition of species. These reproductively discrete groups, referred to as intersterility groups, have begun to be defined in Pleurotus. Many binomial names used in literature are now being grouped together as species complexes using this technique, and may change.
Phylogenetic species 
The following species list is organized according to 1. phylogenetic clade, 2. intersterility group (group number in Roman numerals) or sub-clade, and then 3. any older binomial names that have been found to be closely related, reproductively compatible, or synonymous, although they may no longer be taxonomically valid. This list is likely to be incomplete.
- P. ostreatus clade
- I. P. ostreatus (oyster or pearl oyster mushroom) – North America and northern Eurasia
- II. P. pulmonarius (phoenix or Indian oyster mushroom) – North America, Eurasia, and Australasia
- III. P. populinus – North America
- VI. P. eryngii (king oyster mushroom) – Europe and the Middle East
- XII. P. abieticola – Asia
- XIII. P. albidus – Caribbean, Central America, South America
- P. djamor-cornucopiae clade
- IV. P. cornucopiae (branched oyster mushroom) – Europe
- V. P. djamor (The pink oyster mushroom) – pantropical
- XI. P. opuntiae – North America, New Zealand
- XVI. P. calyptratus
- P. cystidiosus clade
- VIII. P. levis – subtropical to tropical
- X. P. tuber-regium (king tuber mushroom) – Africa, Asia, Australasia
- XIV. P. australis (brown oyster mushroom) – Australia and New Zealand
- XV. P. purpureo-olivaceus – Australia and New Zealand
Species of unclear relationship 
Former species 
- P. sajor-caju was moved to the genus Lentinus.
- P. nidiformis was moved to the genus Omphalotus in 1994.
See also 
- Chang, Shu-ting; Miles, Philip G. (2004). "Pleurotus – A Mushroom of Broad Adaptability". Mushrooms: cultivation, nutritional value, medicinal effect, and environmental impact (2nd ed.). CRC Press. pp. 315–325. ISBN 978-0-8493-1043-0.
- Paul Stamets (2005). Mycelium Running. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 978-1-58008-579-3. OCLC 262557556.
- Cohen, R.; Persky, L.; Hadar, Y. (2002). "Biotechnological applications and potential of wood-degrading mushrooms of the genus Pleurotus" (PDF). Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 58 (5): 582–94. doi:10.1007/s00253-002-0930-y. PMID 11956739.
- πλευρή, Georg Autenrieth, A Homeric Dictionary, on Perseus
- οὖς, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- Marcel Bon. The Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and North-Western Europe. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-39935-X.
- Knudsen, Henning; Jan Vesterhout (2008). Funga Nordica. Copenhagen: Nordsvamp. p. 321.
- Hibbett, D. S.; Thorn, R. G. (Sept-Oct 1994). "Nematode-Trapping in Pleurotus tuberregium". Mycologia 86 (5): 696–699. doi:10.2307/3760542. JSTOR 3760542.
- Barron, GL; Thorn, RG (1987). "Destruction of nematodes by species of Pleurotus". Canadian Journal of Botany 65 (4): 774–778. doi:10.1139/b87-103.
- Thorn, R. Greg; Moncalvo, Jean-Marc; Reddy, C. A.; Vilgalys, Rytas (Mar-Apr 2000). "Phylogenetic Analyses and the Distribution of Nematophagy Support a Monophyletic Pleurotaceae within the Polyphyletic Pleurotoid-Lentinoid Fungi". Mycologia 92 (2): 241–252. doi:10.2307/3761557. JSTOR 3761557.
- Oyster Mushroom
- Singer R. (1986). The Agaricales in Modern Taxonomy (4th ed.). Koenigstein Königstein im Taunus, Germany: Koeltz Scientific Books. ISBN 3-87429-254-1.
- Gonzalez, Patrice; Labarère, Jacques (2000). "Phylogenetic relationships of Pleurotus species according to the sequence and secondary structure of the mitochondrial small-subunit rRNA V4, V6 and V9 domains". Microbiology 146 (1): 209–221. PMID 10658667.
- Vilgalys, Rytas; Sun, Bao Lin (May 1994). "Ancient and recent patterns of geographic speciation in the oyster mushroom Pleurotus revealed by phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal DNA sequences". PNAS 91 (10): 4599–4603. doi:10.1073/pnas.91.10.4599. PMC 43833. PMID 8183955.
- Vilgalys, R.; Moncalvo, J.M.; Liou, S.R.; Volovsek, M. (1996). "Recent advances in molecular systematics of the genus Pleurotus" (PDF). In Royse, D.J. Mushroom biology and mushroom products: proceedings of the 2nd International Conference, June 9–12, 1996. University Park, PA (USA): Pennsylvania State University: World Society for Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products. pp. 91–101.
- Peterson, Ronald H.; Hughes, Karen W.; and Psurtseva, Nadezhda. "Biological Species in Pleurotus". The University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
- Segedin, BP; Buchanan, PK; Wilkie, JP (1995). "Studies in the agaricales of New Zealand: New species, new records and renamed species of Pleurotus (Pleurotaceae)". Australian Systematic Botany 8 (3): 453–482. doi:10.1071/SB9950453.
- Alma E. Rodriguez Estrada, Maria del Mar Jimenez-Gasco and Daniel J. Royse (May–June 2010). "Pleurotus eryngii species complex: Sequence analysis and phylogeny based on partial EF1α and RPB2 genes". Fungal Biology 114 (5–6): 421–428. doi:10.1016/j.funbio.2010.03.003. PMID 20943152.
- Zervakis, Georgios I.; Moncalvo, Jean-Marc; Vilgalys, Rytas (2004). "Molecular phylogeny, biogeography and speciation of the mushroom species Pleurotus cystidiosus and allied taxa". Microbiology 150 (3): 715–726. doi:10.1099/mic.0.26673-0.
- Miller, O.K. (1994). "Observations on the genus Omphalotus in Australia". Mycologia Helvetica 2: 91–100.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Pleurotus|
- Pleurotus in Index Fungorum.
- Pleurotus in MycoBank.
- Pleurotus Genus on the Mushroom, the Journal of Wild Mushrooming site
- Oysters: Pleurotoid Mushrooms at MushroomExpert.com
- Dichotomous key for Pleurotus species from University of Tennessee-Knoxville Mycology Lab
- Oyster Mushroom recipes, Wild About Mushrooms, The Cookbook of the San Francisco Mycological Society, by Louise Freedman