Molecular phylogenetics of porcini mushrooms (Boletus section Boletus)

Bryn T. M. Dentinger*, Joseph F. Ammirati, Ernst E. Both, Dennis E. Desjardin, Roy E. Halling, Terry W. Henkel, Pierre-Arthur Moreau, Eiji Nagasawa, Kasem Soytong, Andy F. Taylor, Roy Watling, Jean-Marc Moncalvo, David J. McLaughlin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Citations (Scopus)


Porcini (Boletus section Boletus: Boletaceae: Boletineae: Boletales) are a conspicuous group of wild, edible mushrooms characterized by fleshy fruiting bodies with a poroid hymenophore that is "stuffed" with white hyphae when young. Their reported distribution is with ectomycorrhizal plants throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Little progress has been made on the systematics of this group using modern molecular phylogenetic tools because sampling has been limited primarily to European species and the genes employed were insufficient to resolve the phylogeny. We examined the evolutionary history of porcini by using a global geographic sampling of most known species, new discoveries from little explored areas, and multiple genes. We used 78 sequences from the fast-evolving nuclear internal transcribed spacers and are able to recognize 18 reciprocally monophyletic species. To address whether or not porcini form a monophyletic group, we compiled a broadly sampled dataset of 41 taxa, including other members of the Boletineae, and used separate and combined phylogenetic analysis of sequences from the nuclear large subunit ribosomal DNA, the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II, and the mitochondrial ATPase subunit six gene. Contrary to previous studies, our separate and combined phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of porcini. We also report the discovery of two taxa that expand the known distribution of porcini to Australia and Thailand and have ancient phylogenetic connections to the rest of the group. A relaxed molecular clock analysis with these new taxa dates the origin of porcini to between 42 and 54 million years ago, coinciding with the initial diversification of angiosperms, during the Eocene epoch when the climate was warm and humid. These results reveal an unexpected diversity, distribution, and ancient origin of a group of commercially valuable mushrooms that may provide an economic incentive for conservation and support the hypothesis of a tropical origin of the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1276-1292
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number3
Early online date21 Oct 2010
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • ectomycorrhizal fungi
  • partial veil
  • stuffed pores
  • synapomorphy
  • biogeography
  • inference
  • molecular systematics
  • ITS
  • species complex
  • boletales
  • RPB1
  • mixed models
  • molecular clock
  • long-distance dispersal
  • sustainable non-timber forest product
  • systematics
  • identification
  • conservation
  • basidiomycota
  • edulis
  • high-throughput
  • evolution
  • ATP6


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