Multigene molecular phylogenetics reveals true morels (Morchella) are especially species-rich in China.
ABSTRACT 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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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 08/2014; · 4.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: World bioclimatic data on Morchella spp. are summarized and the autumnal occurrence of this principally vernal genus is discussed. A description of one Croatian collection based on living (fresh) material provides a template for detailed macro- and microscopic characterization of Morchella specimens. Ecological factors that influence morel fructification are also discussed with special emphasis on the Morchella esculenta species aggregate and the position of Mediterranean habitats in the framework of global bioclimates, while a collection from the Adriatic islet of Ilovik is studied in detail.Natura Croatica 06/2014; 23(1):163-177.
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ABSTRACT: The family Cudoniaceae (Rhytismatales, Ascomycota) was erected to accommodate the "earth tongue fungi" in the genera Cudonia and Spathularia. There have been no recent taxonomic studies of these genera, and the evolutionary relationships within and among these fungi are largely unknown. Here we explore the molecular phylogenetic relationships within Cudonia and Spathularia using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses based on 111 collections from across the Northern Hemisphere. Phylogenies based on the combined data from ITS, nrLSU, rpb2 and tef-1α sequences support the monophyly of three main clades, the /flavida, /velutipes, and /cudonia clades. The genus Cudonia and the family Cudoniaceae are supported as monophyletic groups, while the genus Spathularia is not monophyletic. Although Cudoniaceae is monophyletic, our analyses agree with previous studies that this family is nested within the Rhytismataceae. Our phylogenetic analyses circumscribes 32 species-level clades, including the putative recognition of 23 undescribed phylogenetic species. Our molecular phylogeny also revealed an unexpectedly high species diversity of Cudonia and Spathularia in eastern Asia, with 16 (out of 21) species-level clades of Cudonia and 8 (out of 11) species-level clades of Spathularia. We estimate that the divergence time of the Cudoniaceae was in the Paleogene approximately 28 Million years ago (Mya) and that the ancestral area for this group of fungi was in Eastern Asia based on the current data. We hypothesize that the large-scale geological and climatic events in Oligocene (e.g. the global cooling and the uplift of the Tibetan plateau) may have triggered evolutionary radiations in this group of fungi in East Asia. This work provides a foundation for future studies on the phylogeny, diversity, and evolution of Cudonia and Spathularia and highlights the need for more molecular studies on collections from Europe and North America.PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e103457. · 3.73 Impact Factor