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, 47 (8), 672-82

A Multigene Molecular Phylogenetic Assessment of True Morels (Morchella) in Turkey


A Multigene Molecular Phylogenetic Assessment of True Morels (Morchella) in Turkey

Hatira Taşkin et al. Fungal Genet Biol.


A collection of 247 true morels (Morchella spp.) primarily from the Mediterranean and Aegean Regions of Southern Turkey, were analyzed for species diversity using partial RNA polymerase I (RPB1) and nuclear ribosomal large subunit (LSU) rDNA gene sequences. Based on the result of this initial screen, 62 collections representing the full range of genetic diversity sampled were subjected to multigene phylogenetic species recognition based on genealogical concordance (GCPSR). The 62-taxon dataset consisted of partial sequences from three nuclear protein-coding genes, RNA polymerase I (RPB1), RNA polymerase II (RPB2), translation elongation factor (EF1-alpha), and partial LSU rDNA gene sequences. Phylogenetic analyses of the individual and combined datasets, using maximum parsimony (MP) and maximum likelihood (ML), yielded nearly fully resolved phylogenies that were highly concordant topologically. GCPSR analysis of the 62-taxon dataset resolved 15 putative phylogenetically distinct species. The early diverging Elata (black morels) and Esculenta Clades (yellow morels) were represented, respectively, by 13 and two species. Because a Latin binomial can be applied with confidence to only one of the 15 species (Morchella semilibera), species were identified by clade (Mel for Elata and Mes for Esculenta) followed by a unique Arabic number for each species within these two clades. Eight of the species within the Elata Clade appear to be novel, including all seven species within the Mel-20-to-31 subclade and its sister designated Mel-25. Results of the present study provide essential data for ensuring the sustainability of morel harvests through the formulation of sound conservation policies.

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