The phylogenetic placement of Picoa, with a first report on Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.) Maire (=Phaeangium lefebvrei) from Iran

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Zanjan Province, Iran

2 Farlow Herbarium of Crytpogamic Botany and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138, USA

3 University of Sari, Sari, Mazandaran Province, Iran

4 Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331-5752, USA


Desert truffles, hypogeous Pezizales (Ascomycota), are difficult to identify due to evolutionary
convergence of morphological characters among taxa that share a similar habitat and mode of spore dispersal.
In this paper we document the presence of Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.) Maire (=Phaeangium lefebvrei) in Iran and
use phylogenetic analysis of the ITS and 28s rDNA to show that this species belongs to the Geopora-
Tricharina clade of the Pyronemataceae (Pezizales, Ascomycota). Picoa lefebvrei was originally placed in the
genus Phaeangium because of notable spore ornamentation not present in other species of Picoa. However,
our analyses of both phylogenetic and morphological data suggest that P. lefebvrei is closely related to Picoa
juniperi Vittad, the type species for the genus Picoa.