Mycological Progress

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 743–752 | Cite as

Characterization of mating-type idiomorphs suggests that Morchella importuna, Mel-20 and M. sextelata are heterothallic

  • Hongmei Chai
  • Lijiao Chen
  • Weimin Chen
  • Qi Zhao
  • Xiaolei Zhang
  • Kaimei Su
  • Yongchang Zhao
Original Article


Morels (Morchella spp.) are highly prized for their culinary qualities and intensively collected worldwide by mycophiles. Morels are divided into three clades by phylogenetic analyses: black morels, yellow morels and the rufobrunnea clade. Morchella importuna, Mel-20 and M. sextelata are included in the black morel clade and are widely distributed in Yunnan province, China. M. importuna and M. sextelata have been artificially cultured in recent years, but their life cycles and reproductive systems are still poorly understood, which delays the progress of morel cultivation. In this study, the genomes of two ascospore isolates of M. importuna with opposite mating-type were sequenced and two idiomorphs, MAT1–1 and MAT1–2, were identified. The MAT1–2 idiomorph was 6.7 kb in length containing a single MAT1–2-1 gene, and the MAT1–1 idiomorph was 10.5 kb containing a MAT1–1-1 gene and two other open reading frames (ORFs), GME3123 and GME3124. These ORFs differed greatly from the homologues of previously published mating-type genes; therefore, we speculate that they are novel mating genes found only in morels. Single-ascospore populations of M. importuna, M. sextelata and Mel-20 were analysed, and the result indicated that the ratios of MAT1–1- and MAT1–2-harbouring idiomorphs were not significantly different from a 1:1 ratio. The results suggest that these three black morels are heterothallic.


Morel MAT1–1-1 MAT1–2-1 Single-ascospore population 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation Program of PR China (31460014) and the China Agriculture Research System (CARS-24).

Supplementary material

11557_2017_1309_MOESM1_ESM.docx (56 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 55 kb)
11557_2017_1309_MOESM2_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Table S2 (DOCX 21 kb)
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Table S3 (DOCX 24 kb)
11557_2017_1309_MOESM4_ESM.jpg (3.5 mb)
Figure S1 Maximum parsimonious phylograms (MP) of Elata Clade (black morels) inferred from combined analysis of ITS, RPB2, and TEF1 sequences from 36 collections. Grey highlight is used to point out that the strain in this study appears to be nested within the corresponding phylogenetically distinct species. The other 31 collections were reported in Du et al.(2012) and O’Donnell et al.(2011) (Supplementary Table S1). Sequences of M. rufobrunnea were used to root the phylogram. The number of each internode (above 60%) represents the MP bootstrap value based on1000 replicates of the data. (JPEG 3571 kb)
11557_2017_1309_MOESM5_ESM.jpg (1.2 mb)
Figure S2 Maximum parsimonious phylograms (MP) of Esculenta Clade (yellow morels) inferred from combined analysis of ITS, TEF1 and LSU sequences from 44 collections. Grey highlight is used to point out that strain YAAS2689 appears to be nested within the corresponding phylogenetically distinct species Mes-15. The other 43 collections were reported in Du et al.(2012) and O’Donnell et al.(2011)(Supplementary Table S1). Sequences of M. rufobrunnea were used to root the phylogram. The number of each internode (above 60%) represents the MP bootstrap value based on1000 replicates of the data. (JPEG 1272 kb)


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Copyright information

© German Mycological Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hongmei Chai
    • 1
  • Lijiao Chen
    • 1
  • Weimin Chen
    • 1
  • Qi Zhao
    • 1
  • Xiaolei Zhang
    • 1
  • Kaimei Su
    • 1
  • Yongchang Zhao
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biotechnology and Germplasm ResourcesYunnan Academy of Agricultural SciencesKunmingPeople’s Republic of China

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