The Helvellaceae are a family of ascomycete fungi, the best-known members of which are the elfin saddles of the genus Helvella. Originally erected by Elias Magnus Fries in 1823 as Elvellacei, it contained many genera. Several of these, such as Gyromitra and Discina, have been found to be more distantly related in a molecular study of ribosomal DNA by mycologist Kerry O'Donnell in 1997, leaving a much smaller core clade now redefined as Helvellaceae. Instead, this narrowly defined group is most closely related to the true truffles of the Tuberaceae. Although the Dictionary of the Fungi (10th edition, 2008) considered the Helvellaceae to contain six genera and 63 species, genetic analysis has shown that Leucangium, previously classified in this family, is more closely related to the Morchellaceae.
- O'Donnell K, Cigelnik E, Weber NS, Trappe JM (1997). "Phylogenetic relationships among ascomycetous truffles and the true and false morels inferred from 18S and 28S ribosomal DNA sequence analysis". Mycologia 89 (1): 48–65. doi:10.2307/3761172. JSTOR 3761172.
- Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi (10th ed.). Wallingford, UK: CAB International. p. 310. ISBN 978-0-85199-826-8.
- Trappe MJ, Trappe JM, Bonito GM (2009). "Kalapuya brunnnea gen. & sp. nov. and its relationship to the other sequestrate genera in Morchellaceae". Mycologia 102 (5): 1058–65. doi:10.3852/09-232. PMID 20943505.
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