Morel Mushroom Evolution

Gary Novak


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Morel Mushroom
Evolution and biology

Author's research and photographs show extreme biology and transitional evolution in the morel mushroom including phenotypic variation and a reversion anomaly.

photo pages show extreme morel biology





Description of Morels
Summary of Morel Evolution
Biology of the Morel Mushroom
Phenotypic Variation Explained
Photos of Extreme Phenotypes

The morel is in the process of evolving from a single-celled organism (a yeast) into a multi-celled organism. This hasn't happened in hundreds of millions of years, and now the process is observable having begun about 50,000 years ago for the morel and continuing.

What is the anomaly? - Under laboratory conditions the morel forms a tissue on a surface and scrambles its characteristics due to its recent evolution from a yeast.

Anomaly Explained

Extreme Phenotype Pairs

Evolution of Mushrooms The oldest existing mushroom is the puffball. It would have been something similar about 200 to 300 million years ago.


Research by Author

1.  An Anomaly of Morchella as a Tool for the Study of Differentiation
2.  Phenotypic Variation as an Adaptation Mechanism by Morchella

  Figures 1-2 - Pigmented Mycelium
  Figures 3-6 - Differentiation
  Figure 7 - Variations in Anomalies
  Figure 8 - Variations in Morphology

Graduate Research: Novak, G. E. 1981. Edotrophic sporulation by the yeast Nadsonia fulvescens. Can. J. Microbiol. 27: 967-970.