DNA Sequence Analyses Reveal Abundant Diversity, Endemism and Evidence for Asian Origin of the Porcini Mushrooms
- Additional Document Info
- View All
The wild gourmet mushroom Boletus edulis and its close allies are of significant ecological and economic importance. They are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but despite their ubiquity there are still many unresolved issues with regard to the taxonomy, systematics and biogeography of this group of mushrooms. Most phylogenetic studies of Boletus so far have characterized samples from North America and Europe and little information is available on samples from other areas, including the ecologically and geographically diverse regions of China. Here we analyzed DNA sequence variation in three gene markers from samples of these mushrooms from across China and compared our findings with those from other representative regions. Our results revealed fifteen novel phylogenetic species (about one-third of the known species) and a newly identified lineage represented by Boletus sp. HKAS71346 from tropical Asia. The phylogenetic analyses support eastern Asia as the center of diversity for the porcini sensu stricto clade. Within this clade, B. edulis is the only known holarctic species. The majority of the other phylogenetic species are geographically restricted in their distributions. Furthermore, molecular dating and geological evidence suggest that this group of mushrooms originated during the Eocene in eastern Asia, followed by dispersal to and subsequent speciation in other parts of Asia, Europe, and the Americas from the middle Miocene through the early Pliocene. In contrast to the ancient dispersal of porcini in the strict sense in the Northern Hemisphere, the occurrence of B. reticulatus and B. edulis sensu lato in the Southern Hemisphere was probably due to recent human-mediated introductions.
has subject area