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DNA Sequence Analyses Reveal Abundant Diversity, Endemism and Evidence for Asian Origin of the Porcini Mushrooms


DNA Sequence Analyses Reveal Abundant Diversity, Endemism and Evidence for Asian Origin of the Porcini Mushrooms

Bang Feng et al. PLoS One.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2012;7(8). doi: 10.1371/annotation/e918501c-a3a9-4c14-9ea6-bcc6cf53062e. Hosen, Md Iqbal [added]


The wild gourmet mushroom Boletus edulis and its close allies are of significant ecological and economic importance. They are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but despite their ubiquity there are still many unresolved issues with regard to the taxonomy, systematics and biogeography of this group of mushrooms. Most phylogenetic studies of Boletus so far have characterized samples from North America and Europe and little information is available on samples from other areas, including the ecologically and geographically diverse regions of China. Here we analyzed DNA sequence variation in three gene markers from samples of these mushrooms from across China and compared our findings with those from other representative regions. Our results revealed fifteen novel phylogenetic species (about one-third of the known species) and a newly identified lineage represented by Boletus sp. HKAS71346 from tropical Asia. The phylogenetic analyses support eastern Asia as the center of diversity for the porcini sensu stricto clade. Within this clade, B. edulis is the only known holarctic species. The majority of the other phylogenetic species are geographically restricted in their distributions. Furthermore, molecular dating and geological evidence suggest that this group of mushrooms originated during the Eocene in eastern Asia, followed by dispersal to and subsequent speciation in other parts of Asia, Europe, and the Americas from the middle Miocene through the early Pliocene. In contrast to the ancient dispersal of porcini in the strict sense in the Northern Hemisphere, the occurrence of B. reticulatus and B. edulis sensu lato in the Southern Hemisphere was probably due to recent human-mediated introductions.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Phylogenetic tree inferred from the Maximum Likelihood (ML) analysis based on the RPB1-nrLSU data.
Bootstrap values (ML)/posterior possibilities (from Bayesian Inference) are shown above or beneath individual branches. The positions of five lineages are marked with bold lines, where 1, 2, 3 represent our newly identified lineage (Boletus sp. HKAS71346), “Inferiboletus”, and “Obtextiporus”, respectively. All names in the porcini s.s. lineage were the same as those from ITS analysis (see Fig. 2).
Figure 2
Figure 2. Phylogenetic tree and distribution patterns of the species within the porcini s.s. lineage.
Panel A shows the topology inferred from ML analysis using the ITS data. The two values at each node represent the percentage of bootstrap supports (ML)/posterior probabilities (BI). Provisionally adopted names (based on tree topology) and finally accepted names (based on our proposed criterion for phylogenetic species identification) for all taxa are listed. Newly identified phylogenetic species are highlighted by adding asterisks after their names. Three major clades are separately marked with bold lines, and the fourth one is not marked due to its low statistical support values. Panel B lists the distribution patterns of the porcini s.s. as a pie chart. Colors in both panels represent different distribution ranges.
Figure 3
Figure 3. Chronogram and estimated divergence times of porcini s.l. generated from molecular clock analysis using the RPB1-nrLSU data.
Chronogram obtained using the Ascomycota – Basidiomycota divergence time of 582 Mya as the calibration point is shown in panel A. The calibration point and objects of this study are marked in the chronogram. The geological time scale is in millions of years ago (Mya). Estimated divergence times of main nodes are summarized in panel B, with divergence times of lineages in the porcini s.l. highlighted in blue color.
Figure 4
Figure 4. Divergence time estimation and ancestral area reconstruction of porcini s.s. using the ITS data.
The Chronogram is obtained from molecular clock analysis using BEAST. Pie chart in each node indicates the possible ancestral distributions inferred from Baysian Binary MCMC analysis (BBM) implemented in RASP, while characters above and beneath each clade identify the possible ancestral distribution estimated by maximum likelihood-based program LAGRANGE. Red circles around pie charts indicate possible dispersal and vicariance events as suggested by BBM analysis, while green circles show only dispersal events. Red branches identify dispersal events inferred by LAGRANGE. Characters beyond species names show current distribution area of each species.

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