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Title: Multilocus phylogenetic analysis of true morels (Morchella) reveals high levels of endemics in Turkey relative ot other regions of Europe

item TASKIN, HATIRA - Cukurova University
item HANSEN, KAREN - The Swedish Museum Of Natural History
item O Donnell, Kerry
item BUYUKALACA, SAADET - Cukurova University

Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2011
Publication Date: 11/30/2011
Citation: Taskin, H., Hansen, K., O Donnell, K., Buyukalaca, S. 2011. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis of true morels (Morchella) reveals high levels of endemics in Turkey relative ot other regions of Europe. Mycologia. 104(2):446-461.

Interpretive Summary: This study was conducted to improve our understanding of the genetic diversity of true morels (Morchella spp.) in Turkey and to determine how they compared with species found in other European countries and the rest of the world. In an earlier study we determined that 15 different species of true morels were present in Turkey based on genetic analysis of 247 collections from 10 provinces made during the 2007 and 2008 growing seasons. Herein we report on the genetic identity of 243 additional collections made in 18 provinces during the spring of 2009 and 2010. Analyses of the combined 490 collections revealed that 15 species of black morels and 5 species of yellow morels were present in Turkey together with a species that may be M. rufobrunnea. Of the 21 species of true morels found in Turkey, 9 are only known from this country, 7 may have been introduced inadvertently by humans, 4 were present in other European countries, and 1 poorly resolved species was present in Turkey, India, and China. Our study revealed that there are approximately twice as many species of true morels in Turkey compared with the other regions of Europe we studied. The results of this study should benefit foresters, agricultural scientists, and conservations biologists who are charged with formulating sound conservation policies directed at preventing species loss and ensuring annual commercial harvest are ecologically sound and sustainable.

Technical Abstract: The present study was conducted to better understand how the phylogenetic diversity of true morels (Morchella) in Turkey compares with species found in other regions of the world. The current research builds on our recently published survey of 10 Turkish provinces and another of the world in which Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence data from 247 and 562 collections, respectively, were analyzed phylogenetically. Herein we report on phylogenetic analyses of 243 additional collections made during the spring of 2009 and 2010 from 8 additional provinces located in the Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, and Marmara regions of Turkey. Our analysis revealed that 5 species within the Esculenta Clade (yellow morels) and 15 species within the Elata Clade (black morels) were present in Turkey. Our preliminary results also indicate that M. anatolica, recently described from a collection in Mugla province in the Aegean region of Turkey, is either a later synonym or a closely related sister of M. rufobrunnea; this species comprises an evolutionary lineage that is separate from the Esculenta and Elata Clades. Nine species of Morchella are currently only known from Turkey, four species were present in Turkey and other European countries, and seven species may have been introduced to Turkey anthropogenically. Three of the putatively exotic species in Turkey appear to be endemic to western North America; they are nested within a clade of fire-adapted morels which dates to the late Oligocene 25 mya. Our results indicate that there are roughly twice as many Morchella species in Turkey compared with the other regions of Europe sampled. Knowledge of Morchella species diversity and their biogeographic distribution are crucial for formulating informed conservation policies to help prevent species loss and to ensure annual morel harvests are sustainable and ecologically sound.