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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2010 Dec;57(3):1260-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.10.002. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

Phylogeny of the leafy liverwort Ptilidium: cryptic speciation and shared haplotypes between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

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  • 1Georg-August-University, Albrecht von Haller Institute of Plant Sciences, Department of Systematic Botany, Untere Karspüle 2, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.


The small, phylogenetically isolated liverwort genus Ptilidium has been regarded as of cool-Gondwanic origin with the bipolar, terrestrial Ptilidium ciliare giving rise to the Northern Hemisphere epiphytes Ptilidium pulcherrimum and Ptilidium californicum. This hypothesis is examined using a dataset including three chloroplast DNA regions from 134 Ptilidium accessions and one accession each of its closest relatives Trichocoleopsis and Neotrichocolea. Maximum likelihood and parsimony analyses point to a close relationship between P. ciliare and P. pulcherrimum, whereas P. californicum is placed sister to the remainder of the genus, separated by a long branch. Haplotype analysis and our phylogeny indicate the presence of Southern Hemisphere haplotypes of P. ciliare in the Northern Hemisphere, and shared haplotypes of P. ciliare and P. pulcherrimum between Europe and North America. Based on our findings, we reject the Gondwana-scenario and propose recent long distance dispersal as an explanation for the bipolar disjunct range. Ptilidium ciliare is resolved as paraphyletic with P. pulcherrimum nested within it. An isolated Ptilidium lineage with the morphology of P. ciliare from the Himalaya region likely represents a hitherto unrecognized cryptic species. Ptilidium pulcherrimum splits into a Japanese clade and a clade with accessions from Europe and North America.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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