Multigene molecular phylogenetics reveals true morels (Morchella) are especially species-rich in China

Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanhei Road, No. 132, Kunming, 650201 Yunnan Province, PR China.
Fungal Genetics and Biology (Impact Factor: 2.59). 04/2012; 49(6):455-69. DOI: 10.1016/j.fgb.2012.03.006
Source: PubMed


The phylogenetic diversity of true morels (Morchella) in China was estimated by initially analyzing nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA sequences from 361 specimens collected in 21 provinces during the 2003-2011 growing seasons, together with six collections obtained on loan from three Chinese herbaria. Based on the results of this preliminary screen, 40 Esculenta Clade (yellow morels) and 30 Elata Clade (black morels) were chosen to represent the full range of phylogenetic diversity sampled. To investigate their species limits, we generated DNA sequences from portions of three protein-coding genes (RPB1, RPB2 and EF-1α) and domains D1 and D2 of the nuclear large subunit (LSU) rDNA for all 70 collections. To fully assess evolutionary relationships, previously published multilocus DNA sequence data representing all known Morchella species was included in this study. Phylogenetic analyses employing maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood frameworks resolved 30 species in China compared with 22 in Europe and 19 within North America. Eleven novel phylogenetically distinct species were discovered in China, including two species within the Elata Clade and nine within the Esculenta Clade. Of the 30 species in China, 20 appear to be endemic, nine were also represented in Europe, and four putatively fire-adapted species have disjunct distributions in China, Europe and western North America. Although the diversification time estimates place the Esculenta Clade in China as early as the late Cretaceous and the Elata Clade by the early Oligocene, 27 of the 30 species evolved between the middle Miocene 12Mya and present.

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Available from: K. O'Donnell, Jan 12, 2015
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    • "Furthermore, studies on fungal dispersal over geological time-scales have reported that long-distance intercontinental dispersal occurs but is rather episodical (Moyersoen et al., 2003; Moncalvo & Buchanan, 2008; Geml et al., 2012). Overall, inter-and intra-continental populations usually exhibit strong phylogenetic structures (James et al., 2001; Geml et al., 2006, 2008; Jeandroz et al., 2008; Jargeat et al., 2010), and vicariance and dispersal events should both be considered when explaining the current distribution patterns (Hosaka et al., 2008; Matheny et al., 2009; Du et al., 2012; Wilson et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim The geographical distributions of most fungal species are still poorly known; consequently, their origins and historical distributions remain largely understudied. High levels of cryptic diversity, scarce fossil records and poorly sampled regions can explain some of these shortcomings. We extensively sampled an iconic group of edible ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi, Amanita caesarea and its allies, in order to infer evolutionary patterns on a global scale. Location Worldwide. Methods DNA sequences from three nuclear genes were derived for 120 collections. Divergence times were estimated using fossil calibrations within the Agaricomycetes, followed by more inclusive (A. sect. Caesareae + outgroup) root-recalibrated estimations. Ultrametric trees from BEAST were used in ancestral-area reconstructions and to infer geodispersal models. They were further used in diversification rates analyses using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods. Results Molecular dating and ancestral-area reconstruction indicated a Palaeotropical origin of A. sect. Caesareae between the Palaeocene and Eocene. Dispersal events to more temperate regions in Mediterranean Europe, eastern Australia and North and Central America, occurred mostly during the Late Miocene and Pliocene. A boreotropical model was supported as the most likely mode of geodispersal. Diversification rates were significantly higher in the New World than in the Old World. Main conclusions We present evidence that this group of edible EM mushrooms was ancestrally Palaeotropical from around the Eocene to the Late Miocene, reaching temperate insular and continental areas during the Late Miocene and Pliocene. The mode of dispersal is largely consistent with Wolfe’s boreotropical hypothesis. We also found that the overall diversification rate has been rather constant, but has increased relatively recently in the New World, possibly as a result of the well-documented Plio-Pleistocene climatic fluctuations.
    Journal of Biogeography 08/2015; 42(2). DOI:10.1111/jbi.12402 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    • "The historical biogeography of Morchella was first studied by O'Donnell et al. (2011) whose work set a foundation for subsequent investigations. Further study by Du et al. (2012a) contributed to a comprehensive understanding of the evolutionary history of the genus, especially in identifying East Asia or China as the modern species diversity and distribution center. Additionally, Elliott et al. (2014) and Pildain et al. (2014) broadened the previous understanding of species diversity and distribution of morels in South America and Australia. "
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    ABSTRACT: Morels, a group of the world’s most prized edible and medicinal mushrooms, are of very important economic and scientific value. Here, we review recent research progress in the genus Morchella, and focus on its taxonomy, species diversity and distribution, ecological diversity, phylogeny and biogeography, artificial cultivation, and genome. We also discuss the potential issues remaining in the current research and suggest some future directions for study.
    Mycology 03/2015; 6(2):1-8. DOI:10.1080/21501203.2015.1016561
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    • "However, molecular dating and phylogenetics tools have proved useful for estimating the divergence times and centers of origin for some fungal groups. For example, recent studies have examined patterns and timing of evolution in ascomycetes such as Hypocreales [78], Morchella [41], [79], Tuber [80], [81], Golovinomyces [82], and some lichen-forming clades [83]-[85]. "
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    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e103457. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0103457 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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