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Open Access A synopsis of the saddle fungi (Helvella: Ascomycota) in Europe – species delimitation, taxonomy and typification

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Helvella is a widespread, speciose genus of large apothecial ascomycetes (Pezizomycete: Pezizales) that are found in terrestrial biomes of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This study represents a beginning on assessing species limits and applying correct names for Helvella species based on type material and specimens in the university herbaria (fungaria) of Copenhagen (C), Harvard (FH) and Oslo (O). We use morphology and phylogenetic evidence from four loci – heat shock protein 90 (hsp), translation elongation factor alpha (tef), RNA polymerase II (rpb2) and the nuclear large subunit ribosomal DNA (LSU) – to assess species boundaries in an expanded sample of Helvella specimens from Europe. We combine the morphological and phylogenetic information from 55 Helvella species from Europe with a small sample of Helvella species from other regions of the world. Little intraspecific variation was detected within the species using these molecular markers; hsp and rpb2 markers provided useful barcodes for species delimitation in this genus, while LSU provided more variable resolution among the pertinent species. We discuss typification issues and identify molecular characteristics for 55 European Helvella species, designate neo- and epitypes for 30 species, and describe seven Helvella species new to science, i.e., H. alpicola, H. alpina, H. carnosa, H. danica, H. nannfeldtii, H. pubescens and H. scyphoides .


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 20, 2017

This article was made available online on September 14, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "A synopsis of the saddle fungi (Helvella: Ascomycota) in Europe – species delimitation, taxonomy and typification".

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  • Persoonia aims to publish papers dealing with molecular phylogeny and evolution of fungi. A further aim is to promote fungal taxonomy by employing a polythetic approach to clarify the true phylogeny and relationships within the kingdom Fungi. The journal publishes high-quality papers elucidating known and novel fungal taxa at the DNA level, and also strives to present novel insights into evolutionary processes and relationships. Papers to be considered include research articles and reviews.

    Papers are published using a Fast Track system. This implies that the papers are immediately published online and freely available through the internet via this website. Volumes appear twice a year (June and December). From Volume 36 onwards (2016) hard copy volumes will only be made available through printing-on-demand. The issues can be ordered separately through the Publication Division of Naturalis Biodiversity Center; e-mail: [email protected].

    Persoonia is a journal published jointly by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute.
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