Jorinde Nuytinck

Jorinde Nuytinck

People tend to think of life on earth in two main categories: plants and animals. But the diversity of life is much richer than that. Fungi are one of the most diverse, fascinating, understudied, yet omnipresent, kingdoms of life. They help feeding 90% of the plants, recycle dead organisms and remain cryptic most of the time. My interest lies in documenting and understanding the evolution of the underestimated kingdom of Fungi.


Molecular systematics, phylogeography, evolutionary radiations, barcoding, Russulales, milkcaps, Lactarius, Russula, Cortinarius, morphology, tropical mycology, Dutch mushrooms


Taxonomists create the language of biodiversity, enabling communication about organisms among scientists and the general public. This essential work is particularly challenging in hyper diverse and morphologically cryptic groups, such as the kingdom Fungi.

I combine fieldwork, morphology, microscopy and molecular phylogenetic techniques to study the taxonomy, evolution and diversification of Fungi.  Ectomycorrhizal fungi go against a general biodiversity pattern, they are more diverse in temperate regions than in tropical regions. These fungi live in an obligate symbiosis with their hosts: in exchange for water and minerals they obtain carbohydrates. I have a special interest in the order Russulales and my aim is to understand their diversification and biogeographical history. I am also involved in several barcoding projects of Dutch mushrooms and in metabarcoding projects.

Lactarius montanus - Rocky mountains, USA
Lactifluus sp. - Zambia


A selection of the topics I am working on currently.

Dutch mushrooms

Barcoding Dutch mushrooms

Fungi are everywhere. They live in the soil, float in the air, digest dead plant material, parasitize other organisms or live in mutualistic relationships. They are essential for the functioning of nearly all ecosystems, yet they are very cryptic. In the…
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  • Nuytinck J., Verbeken A., Saar I., Lambert H., Bérubé J., Voitk A. (2017) Lactarius splendens, a second species with white latex in section Deliciosi. Botany 95: 859–863.
  • De Crop E., Nuytinck J., Van de Putte K., Wisitrassameewong  K., Hackel J., Stubbe D., Hyde K.D., Roy M., Halling R. E, Moreau P.-A., Eberhardt U., Verbeken A. (2017) A multi-gene phylogeny of Lactifluus (Basidiomycota, Russulales) translated into a new infrageneric classification of the genus. Persoonia 38: 58–80.
  • Wisitrassameewong K., Looney B., Le T.H., De Crop E., Das K., Van De Putte K., Eberhardt U., Jiayu G., Stubbe D., Hyde K.D., Verbeken A. & Nuytinck J. (2016) Lactarius subgenus Russularia (Russulales, Basidiomycota): novel Asian species, worldwide phylogeny and evolutionary relationships. Fungal Biology 120 (12): 1554–1581.
  • Van de Putte K., Nuytinck J., De Crop E. and Verbeken A. (2016) Lactifluus volemus in Europe: three species in one revealed by a multilocus genealogical approach, Bayesian species delimitation and morphology. Fungal Biology 120 (1): 1-25.
  • Verbeken A., Stubbe D., Van de Putte K., Eberhardt U. & Nuytinck J. (2014) Tales of the unexpected: angiocarpous representatives of the Russulaceae in tropical South East Asia. Persoonia 32: 13–24.

All publications on GoogleScholar


  • Tree of Life: Biodiversiteit Plant en Fylogenie – Protists and Fungi (Leiden University)
  • Biodiversity – Fungal taxonomy (Leiden University)
  • Minor Biodiversity and Natural Environment: Evolutionary Developments – Fungal Evolution (Leiden University)
  • Field excursions (Leiden University)

In the

Interview in Trouw 27 January 2018