High Diversity of Morchella and a Novel Lineage of the Esculenta Clade From the North Qinling Mountains Revealed by GCPSR-based Study

Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 27;9(1):19856. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-56321-1.


China is a mainland country rich in natural morel recourses, having records of half of the worldwide 61 morel phylospecies. In this study, 31 collections of ascocarps from the north Qinling Mountains, 4 collections of commercial cultivars from the south Qinling Mountains, and 3 Morchella mycelium clones from commercial cultivars were investigated using the genealogical concordance phylogenetic species recognition (GCPSR) method. Maximum-likelihood was employed for the construction of phylogenetic trees. A total of five phylogenetic species were found among the 38 collections, namely Morchella sp. Mes-8, Mes-9, Mes-13, and Mes-25, and Morchella chensiensis (IF556780), in addition to the false morel (Verpa bohemica). The identification of cultivated Morchella sp. Mel-2, Mel-6, Mel-10, and Mel-12 coincided with that of the commercial farms. A total of 80% (4/5) of yellow morels were new records for the Qinling region, except Mes-19; moreover, a novel monophyletic lineage, Morchella chensiensis, was found to be distinct from the previously reported phylospecies by single gene and combined genes analysis, thus being herein proposed as a new phylospecies. All collections from this study showed continental endemism, and all Qinling Mountains collections were grouped together in rDNA phylogenetic trees. The study provided insights on biodiversities in this key region of China.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't