Plant Diversity ›› 2012, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (6): 614-622.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1143.2012.12140

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DNA Barcoding of Economically Important Mushrooms: A Case Study on Lethal Amanitas from China

 CA  Qing, TANG  Li-Ping, YANG  Zhu-Liang   

  1. Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
  • Received:2012-11-05 Online:2012-12-25 Published:2012-11-09


Some species of the genus Amanita are economically important gourmet mushrooms, while others cause dramatic poisonings or even deaths every year in China and in many other countries. A DNA barcode is a short segment or a combination of short segments of DNA sequences that can distinguish species rapidly and accurately. To establish a standard DNA barcode for poisonous species of Amanita in China, three candidate markers, the large subunit nuclear ribosomal RNA (nLSU), the internal transcribed spacer (ITS), and the translation elongation factor 1alpha (tef1α) were tested using the eukaryotic general primers for their feasibility as barcodes to identify seven species of lethal fungi and two species of edible ones which can easily be confused with the lethal ones known from China. In addition, A.phalloides—a European and North American species closely related to one of the seven taxa, A.subjunquillea was also included. PCR amplification and sequencing success rate, intra and interspecific variation and rate of species identification were considered as main criteria for evaluation of the candidate DNA barcodes. Although the nLSU had high PCR and sequencing success rates (100% and 100% respectively), occasional overlapping occurred between the intra and interspecific variations. The PCR amplification and sequencing success rates of ITS were 100% and 85.7% respectively. ITS showed high sequence variation among species group and low variation within a given species. There was a relatively high PCR amplification and sequencing success rate for tef1α (85.7% and 100% respectively), and its intra and interspecific variation was higher than that of ITS or nLSU. All three candidate markers showed hight species resolution. ITS and tef1α had a more clearly defined barcode gap than nLSU. Our study showed that the tef1α and nLSU can be proposed as supplementary barcodes for the genus Amanita, while ITS can be used as a primary barcode marker considering that the ITS region may become a universal barcode marker for the fungal kingdom.

Key words: DNA barcoding, Edible wild mushrooms, Fungi, Poisonous mushrooms, Species recognition

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