Mycological Progress

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 395–405 | Cite as

A comparison between ITS phylogenetic relationships and morphological species recognition within Mycena sect. Calodontes in Northern Europe

  • Christoffer Bugge HarderEmail author
  • Thomas Læssøe
  • Rasmus Kjøller
  • Tobias G. Frøslev
Original Article


The members of Mycena sect. Calodontes (Tricholomataceae s.l., Basidiomycota) are characterised by a collybioid aspect and more or less purplish to reddish colours and a distinct raphanoid odour. In Europe, nine species have been recognised though some of these based on somewhat dubious morphological differences. Historically, most were assigned to Mycena pura. However, since Mycena pura displays one of the most striking colour variabilities within European agarics, many attempts have been made to subdivide it into independent entities, and several forms, varieties and species have been split from Mycena pura s.l. based largely on differences in colouration, gross macromorphology or other phenetic traits. We developed a large sample of ITS sequences of all species of sect. Calodontes known from Europe for which vouchers exist. Furthermore, partial LSU data were developed and additional sequences downloaded from GENBANK to assess the relationship of Calodontes with other Mycena spp. We show that most Calodontes form a monophyletic group including a few North and South American collections, but that this cannot be conclusively shown when an additional North American sequence is added. For all other species than M. pura and M. diosma, we found morphological species recognition to be in agreement with the ITS data. Several significantly different clades can be recognised within the M. pura morphospecies, none of which can be linked to the observed (and described by proxy) colour varieties/forms. Indications of a possible environmental basis of the colour differentiation in the M. pura morphospecies are discussed.


Basidiomycete phylogenetics Morphological species recognition Cryptic speciation 



We thank the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Anne Storgaard, Anton Hausknecht, Arne Aronsen, Jan Vesterholt, Erik Rald, Brian Perry, David Boertmann, Slavomir Adamcik, Karen Hansen, Ursula Peintner, Jens H. Petersen, Sigisfredo Garnica, Johannes Schmitt and Klaus Wölldecke for provision and loans of specimens. We are grateful for the comments, informations and suggestions we received from D. Jean Lodge, Patrick B. Matheny, Ron A. Petersen, Bart Byuck, Ernest Emmett, Marie-Catherine Boisselier-Dubayle, Michael Weiß, Scott Redhead and Michael Kuo. We are also indebted to Peter Spiteller and Ursula Eberhardt for their kind sharing of unpublished results and manuscripts, and to Anette Løth, Ulrik Søchting and Søren Rosendahl for practical and theoretical assistance.

Supplementary material

11557_2009_648_MOESM1_ESM.doc (22.3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 22823 kb)


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Copyright information

© German Mycological Society and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoffer Bugge Harder
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Læssøe
    • 1
  • Rasmus Kjøller
    • 1
  • Tobias G. Frøslev
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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