Molecular phylogenetic analysis shows that Amanita ponderosa and A. curtipes are distinct species
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- Moreno, G., Platas, G., Peláez, F. et al. Mycol Progress (2008) 7: 41. doi:10.1007/s11557-007-0551-z
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Amanita curtipes and A. ponderosa are two Mediterranean taxa sharing a number of morphological features as well as their habitat. Their synonymy or variety status has been proposed by several authors. To clarify this taxonomic issue we have sequenced the D1-D2 domains of the 28S rRNA gene as well as the complete ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of several specimens of the two species collected in Spain, and aligned these sequences with those from other Amanita species. Molecular phylogenetic analysis based on the two regions revealed that A. ponderosa and A. curtipes are clearly distinct species. The distribution of Amanita species in the phylogenetic trees was consistent with the division of the genus in subgenera and sections as proposed by previous authors. Sequences of A. ponderosa and A. curtipes were grouped in a monophyletic cluster together with other species of the section Amidella. However, A. ponderosa was closer to other species in the section, such as A. peckiana and A. volvata, than to A. curtipes. We also indicate the macromorphological characters that are most useful to reliably distinguish A. ponderosa and A. curtipes.