CH-2009 Neuchâtel, Switzerland 3Mushroom Biology and Fungal Biotechnology Laboratory, School of Agriculture

and Environmental Sciences, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA

4M.G. Kholodny Institute of Botany, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 2 Tereshchenkivska St., Kiev 01601, Ukraine

Corresponding authors: E-mails: *[email protected] **[email protected]


The relationships among species within Morchella and Macrolepiota were studied using nrDNA ITS and EF-1α sequences from 50 samples belonging to genera Gyromitra, Distiotis, Morchella, and Verpa; and 58 samples belonging to genera Macrolepiota, Leucoagaricus, and Chlorophyllum species from diff erent

geographical areas. Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and the Bayesian approach were conducted in order to build the phylogeny of these genera. Both genera appeared to be monophyletic; however, several ingroups appeared to be polyphyletic. The relationship of species within the genus Morchella was investigated using both molecular (nrDNA ITS and EF-1α) and morphological characteristics in order to re-evaluate the taxonomic position of several controversial species for which the taxonomic status is still unclear. Results showed that the genus Morchella is a complex of several species, which was separated into two main distinct groups: yellow (M. crassipes, M. esculenta s. str. and M. spongiola) and black morels [(M. elata s. str., M. costata, M. gigas, and M. vulgaris (= M. conica)]. Results supported evidence that Morchella elata and M. angusticeps are identical taxa, which was proposed in earlier publications. Morphological data together with molecular data did not support the proposals that M. esculenta and M. crassipes are the same species. After phylogenetic studies, the list of Morchella species of Israel was re-evaluated, and are currently represented by Morchella elata, M. esculenta, M. rufobrunnea, and M. vulgaris (=M. conica). e relationship of Macrolepiota species to one another within the genus was investigated using both molecular (nrDNA ITS and EF-1 alpha sequences) and morphological characteristics. e results supported evidence to transfer M. rachodes into the genus Chlorophyllum, which was proposed by earlier publications. M. fuliginosa and M. rhodosperma appear to be identical. Morphological data together with molecular data did not support the proposals to treat M. mastoidea and its closely related species as one taxon. e list of Macrolepiota species of Israel was re-evaluated, which is currently represented by M. affi nis, M. excoriata, M. excoriata var. rubescens, M. fuligineosquarrosa, M. konradii, M. mastoidea, M. procera, M. procera var. mediterranea, M. prominens, M. psammophila, M. rickenii, and M. subsquarrosa. Macrolepiota oliveri and M. rachodes were transferred to the genus Chlorophyllum. It was shown that for Morchella, EF-1α is informative, whereas for Macrolepiota – this is hardly so. With the topology presented for Macrolepiota based on EF-1α, it is logical to conclude that this marker is not that suitable for the resolution of species complexes that are closely related in this particular taxon, genus Macrolepiota. However, assuming that the complexes should be treated as the same species is probably premature.