Lamella (mycology)

Lactarius subdulcis fruit bodies with prominent adnate gills. The shape, colour, density and other properties of the gills (for instance, the gills here leak latex) are important when identifying mushroom species.
"False" gills of Craterellus tubaeformis

A lamella, or gill, is a papery hymenophore rib under the cap of some mushroom species, most often but not always agarics. The gills are used by the mushrooms as a means of spore dispersal, and are important for species identification. The attachment of the gills to the stem is classified based on the shape of the gills when viewed from the side, while color, crowding and the shape of individual gills can also be important features. Additionally, gills can have distinctive microscopic or macroscopic features. For instance, Lactarius species typically seep latex from their gills.

It was originally believed that all gilled fungi were Agaricales, but as fungi were studied in more detail, some gilled species were demonstrated not to be. It is now clear that this is a case of convergent evolution (i.e. gill-like structures evolved separately) rather than being an anatomic feature that evolved only once. The apparent reason that various basidiomycetes have evolved gills is that it is the most effective means of increasing the ratio of surface area to mass, which increases the potential for spore production and dispersal.

Other groups of fungi to bear gills include:

Members of the two related genera of chanterelles, Cantharellus and Craterellus, have rudimentary lamellar structures which are sometimes referred to as "false gills". They are distinguished from "true gills" because the structure of the fertile surface ("hymenium") continues uninterrupted over the gill edge, so they are little more than folds, wrinkles or veins.[1] The genus Gomphus also has false gills. These primitive lamellae indicate how the evolution towards true gills probably happened.[2]


Morphologically, gills are classified according to their attachment to the stem:


  1. ^ See Tom Volk's Fungus of the Month for January 2008 for a description of the difference between "real" and "false" gills.
  2. ^ Moncalvo JM, Nilsson RH, Koster B, Dunham SM, Bernauer T, Matheny PB, Porter TM, Margaritescu S, Weiss M, Garnica S, Danell E, Langer G, Langer E, Larsson E, Larsson KH, Vilgalys R. (2006). "The cantharelloid clade: dealing with incongruent gene trees and phylogenetic reconstruction methods" (PDF). Mycologia. 98 (6): 937–948. doi:10.3852/mycologia.98.6.937. PMID 17486970. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2013.  . The important "false gill" characteristic of the chanterelles is discussed on page 938 and it is mentioned that lamellae of Gomphus are similar.

External links



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From Latin lāmella (small, thin plate of metal).



lamella (plural lamellas or lamellae)

  1. A thin, plate-like structure.
  2. (mycology) The gill of a mushroom.

Related terms





From Latin lāmella (small, thin plate of metal).


lamella f (plural lamelle)

  1. thin plate, lamella
  2. (botany) gill, lamella
  3. (electronics) wafer

Related terms



lāmina (thin plate) +‎ -lus (diminutive suffix)


lāmella f (genitive lāmellae); first declension

  1. A small, thin plate of metal


First declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative lāmella lāmellae
genitive lāmellae lāmellārum
dative lāmellae lāmellīs
accusative lāmellam lāmellās
ablative lāmellā lāmellīs
vocative lāmella lāmellae



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