Within the genus Russula, R. subg. Compactae is a large subgenus, mainly characterised by the presence of lamellulae. The fruitbodies are rather big, firm and compact with a short and thick stipe and a white, yellowish or brown head. The context is often browning or blackening, sometimes reddening. The subgenus consists of three main groups: Compactae, Lactarioides and Archaeinae, which are characterised by a high diversity, with several species complexes and undescribed species.
In a first part of this project, we aim to make a general phylogeny of Russula to get a clear placement of each of these groups. Moreover, we will test the hypothesis that R. subg. Compactae is monophyletic, placed at the base of the Russula phylogeny.
The second objective of this project is to delimit species within R. subg. Compactae in Europe. We aim to unravel the species complexes and describe new species through phylogenetic and morphological analysis. As it is thought that ecology might play an important role in speciation, we will also focus on mycorrhizal host associations.