Molecular diversity assessment of arctic and boreal Agaricus taxa.Mycologia. 2008 Jul-Aug; 100(4):577-89.M
We provide a phylogenetic diversity assessment study in genus Agaricus as part of our ongoing work to saturate ITS and LSU rDNA sequence diversity of soil-dwelling fungi in Alaska. Pairwise sequence similarity-based groupings and statistical parsimony analyses were applied to delimit operational taxonomic unit (OTU) and were compared to results of full phylogenetic analyses. Our results show that the proportion of section Arvenses taxa is particularly high in the boreal forest and hypo-arctic (low arctic) regions, whereas the genus is represented by section Agaricus in high arctic habitats. Furthermore our findings suggest that the commercially important A. bisporus occurs naturally in the boreal region of interior Alaska, substantially expanding the known northern limit of the species. Delimitations of OTU varied greatly with different methods. In general 95% similarity-based grouping proved to be the least sensitive method, often resulting in section- and subsection-level groups. The 95% connection-limit statistical parsimony separated far more groups. The 98% similarity-based groups and the 98% connection limit networks recognized respectively 11 and 13 OTU containing our specimens. The 98% connection limit statistical parsimony was the only method in which all recognized OTU consisted of members grouped by branches with significant (> .95) posterior probabilities, providing an independent support for the groups. Our results also point out that considerable additional efforts will be needed to elucidate the evolution of this diverse genus and to assess its phylogenetic diversity, given that most taxa in our analyses could not be placed convincingly within well characterized species using ITS/LSU data.