Submitted to: Mycological Society of America
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Morels are arguably the best known wild macrofungi [Ascomycota: Pezizales] collected by mycophiles. In this study, the evolutionary history of the morel fungi was investigated by parsimony analysis of nuclear-encoded small [18S] and large [28S] subunit ribosomal DNA sequence data. The complete 18S and domains D1 and D2 of the 28S rDNA genes were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction [PCR] and sequenced directly where possible. Some PCR products had to be cloned to obtain readable sequences. Taxa were sampled from the family containing the true morels [Morchellaceae: Morchella, Verpa, and Disciotis] and the false morels [Helvellaceae] which includes both epigeous [Helvella, Gyromitra, Discina, Underwoodia, Wynnella, and Rhizina] and hypogeous, truffle-like taxa [Dingleya, Hydnotrya, and Fischerula] to address three main questions: are these families monophyletic; what are their phylogenetic relationships within the Pezizales; and what can the rDNA gene phylogenies tell us about morphological evolution within the morel fungi?