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Observation 237930: Morchella ulmaria Clowez

When: 2016-05-04

Collection location: Danville, Montour Co., Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

Specimen available

Under dead elm. Same 1-2 acre area as obs 237928 .

I’ll put one aside in case anyone wishes to extract DNA.


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Whole mushroom…
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-04-04 20:48:02 CDT (-0400)

…not needed for sequencing. A small piece (<0.25′ × 0.25′) of the hymenophore is all what’s needed for submission, and even that morsel is good enough for gazillion PCR experiments. So crack that dry “round-head” open, collect a small piece, and the rest can go to enrich your risotto, Dave. :-)
I suspected that nrITS wouldn’t be able to resolve these two morphological lookalikes. Besides one would need to compare it to the sequence from an authentic voucher (maybe M. Kuo sequenced ITS for his ulmaria/americana collections). If you know GB accession numbers for TEF and/or RPB sequences obtained from samples used in any of the 3 seminal morel papers, one can make a more informed decision as to which gene to sequence by doing a basic sequence alignment in GB.

Thanks Stephen.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2017-04-04 19:26:10 CDT (-0400)

I’ll see about following this lead.

EF1 alone seems to have some discriminatory power in this group.
By: Stephen Russell (Mycota)
2017-04-04 19:00:59 CDT (-0400)
No bad feelings…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2017-04-04 18:34:40 CDT (-0400)

when I see the jars of dried morels on display in my kitchen. And when those are used up, there’s more stored upstairs. I still even have a couple jars of Idaho “fire morels” I collected in 2013. And yes, I trade dried mushrooms (morels and porcini) for wild game. Funny, though, how setting aside just one dried morel for study seems like a sacrifice.

I don’t wanna jinx anything, but it looks like we may be headed for our first good morel season in almost 10 years. No drought (to the contrary we have been receiving frequent significant rainfall), no excessively cold temps (lows have been in the high 30sF to 50F), and some nice sunny days mixed in. Blacks should be starting by mid-week next week.

don’t feel badly about morel greed, Dave
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-04 10:19:10 CDT (-0400)

even the UberGeeks will take the time to fill their baskets, if not to eat themselves, then to trade to others.

Picking (and finding!) morels is pure pleasure, wherever they might end up!

Okay, there are a few things…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2017-04-03 22:10:09 CDT (-0400)

I’d like to have sequenced, possibly including this. I should sort through my collections before it’s time to hit the woods, which is coming up real soon.

Well, Dave,
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-04-03 21:50:26 CDT (-0400)

I was merely expressing a viewpoint that it doesn’t seem to be practical to pay for this determination, regardless of who is funding the sequencing study, under the circumstances. In other words, knowing for sure, or nearly so, whether 237930 is americana or ulmaria, while momentarily satisfying, will not bring us anywhere closer to solving the stubborn morphological puzzle surrounding the two species. Based on reasonable inferences that can be made from and, chances are the two collections are the same species, Morchella americana… Of course, by no means I am telling you how to spend your money, so sequencing arrangements can be made if you haven’t changed your mind yet. :-)

Ha ha ha!
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2017-04-03 18:33:35 CDT (-0400)

Well put, Igor.

If the arrangements can be made, I’ll foot the bill for this one. This would represent significant progress in my recovery… spending 30-some dollars to WITHHOLD a morel from the risotto conveyor-belt, even at the risk of ambiguous results. (Although, I think I shall never manage to overcome the addictive urge to fill bags with field-groomed beauties like these.)

Great finds Dave!
By: AJ (j7u)
2017-04-03 17:34:06 CDT (-0400)
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-04-03 16:48:14 CDT (-0400)

Your recent comment in 237928 – the “round-heads” and “cone-heads” not mingling with each other – strengthens the earlier assumption that 928 and 930 might not be the same type when it comes to looking at the locus that codes for the shape of head, but they’re still likely the same species. Which species exactly is still the $80K question. What’s the difference between varieties, forms, mutants, dominant/recessive phenotypes, etc., when it comes to fungal genetics and species delimitation anyway?
I don’t know enough about Morchella DNA studies to know if sequencing one gene will separate americana/esculentoides from ulmaria/cryptica (Kuo’s morel tree was based on a 4-gene panel), but it seems to me that sequencing money should better be spent on a more pressing mystery.
It appears that becoming a fully recovered pot-hunter is a much greater challenge you ever imagined, but at the same time I don’t want to be the catalyst of your relapse at any point in time. The fate of the single “round-head” you set aside is still entirely in your hands, Dave. :-)

Igor, I just noticed…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2017-04-03 14:15:50 CDT (-0400)

you had expressed interest in having this type sequenced. Last year, I put one of these aside for potential study. (My first step as a recovering pot-hunter. I still haven’t completed the next phase of the program, which includes slathering KOH onto a King Bolete. And, the aforementioned morel looms as an agent of potential relapse. I may need some help here.)

elm habitat
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-03 13:20:42 CDT (-0400)

makes me lean towards ulmaria for its ID.

both species can be rounded or elongated.

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2016-05-11 13:01:24 CDT (-0400)

These “round-heads” do look different from conventional “cone-heads” of obs 237928. It would be interesting to find out what the genes say. Handsome collection, by the way.