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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318080

Research Project: Genomic Analyses and Management of Agricultural and Industrial Microbial Genetic Resources and Associated Information

Location: Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research

Title: Two new species of true morels from Newfoundland and Labrador: cosmopolitan Morchella eohespera and parochial M. laurentiana

Author
item Voitk, Andrus - Foray Newfoundland & Labrador
item Beug, Michael - Evergreen State College
item O`donnell, Kerry
item Burzynski, Michael - Foray Newfoundland & Labrador

Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2015
Publication Date: 11/9/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62136
Citation: Voitk, A., Beug, M.W., O'Donnell, K., Burzynski, M. 2015. Two new species of true morels from Newfoundland and Labrador: cosmopolitan Morchella eohespera and parochial M. laurentiana. Mycologia. 108(1):31-37.

Interpretive Summary: True morels (genus Morchella) are arguably the most highly prized edible fungi collected in the spring by mycophiles in the northern hemisphere. This study was conducted to characterize new collections of morels from Washington State and the eastern Canadian provinces of Newfoundland & Labrador (NL) and New Brunswick (NB). Although these black morel collections were macroscopically and microscopically indistinguishable from several known species, DNA sequence analyses of portions of four genes revealed that the collections comprised two novel, undescribed phylogenetically distinct species, which were informally distinguished initially by the ad hoc codes Mel-19 and Mel-36. Herein, these two species were formally described as M. eohespera and M. laurentiana, respectively. Results of the present study extend the known range of the cosmopolitan M. eohespera from central China and central and northern Europe to Washington State and NL and NB. By way of contrast, M. laurentiana appears to be restricted to the St. Lawrence River Basin in NL. Pure cultures of both species were deposited in the ARS Culture Collection (NRRL) to help insure that they will be available to biotechnologists and other scientists interested in the commercial production of morels. The results should also aid conservation biologists and foresters in developing robust policies directed at managing and protecting this valuable natural genetic resource.

Technical Abstract: Morphological and molecular phylogenetic studies of true morels (Morchella) in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) resulted in the surprising discovery of two undescribed species in the M. elata clade, which we initially distinguished by the informal designations Mel-19 and Mel-36. The latter species, also collected in New Brunswick (NB), appears to be restricted to the St. Lawrence River Basin. Mel-36 is described here as a novel phylogenetically distinct species, M. laurentiana Voitk, Burzynski, O’Donnell, sp. nov. Prior to the discovery of Mel-19 in NL, NB and Washington State (WA), it was only known from central China and central and northern Europe. Mel-19 is described here as M. eohespera Beug, Voitk, O’Donnell, sp. nov.