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Mycologia. 2011 Sep-Oct;103(5):983-1003. doi: 10.3852/10-234. Epub 2011 Jun 3.

Phylogenetic affiliations of members of the heterogeneous lichen-forming fungi of the genus Lecidea sensu Zahlbruckner (Lecanoromycetes, Ascomycota).

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  • 1Department of Systematic Botany, Georg August University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany. mschmull@oeb.harvard.edu

Abstract

The genus Lecidea Ach. sensu lato (sensu Zahlbruckner) includes almost 1200 species, out of which only 100 species represent Lecidea sensu stricto (sensu Hertel). The systematic position of the remaining species is mostly unsettled but anticipated to represent several unrelated lineages within Lecanoromycetes. This study attempts to elucidate the phylogenetic placement of members of this heterogeneous group of lichen-forming fungi and to improve the classification and phylogeny of Lecanoromycetes. Twenty-five taxa of Lecidea sensu lato and 22 putatively allied species were studied in a broad selection of 268 taxa, representing 48 families of Lecanoromycetes. Six loci, including four ribosomal and two protein-coding genes for 315- and 209-OTU datasets were subjected to maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses. The resulting well supported phylogenetic relationships within Lecanoromycetes are in agreement with published phylogenies, but the addition of new taxa revealed putative rearrangements of several families (e.g. Catillariaceae, Lecanoraceae, Lecideaceae, Megalariaceae, Pilocarpaceae and Ramalinaceae). As expected, species of Lecidea sensu lato and putatively related taxa are scattered within Lecanoromycetidae and beyond, with several species nested in Lecanoraceae and Pilocarpaceae and others placed outside currently recognized families in Lecanorales and orders in Lecanoromycetidae. The phylogenetic affiliations of Schaereria and Strangospora are outside Lecanoromycetidae, probably with Ostropomycetidae. All species referred to as Lecidea sensu stricto based on morphology (including the type species, Lecidea fuscoatra [L.] Ach.) form, with Porpidia species, a monophyletic group with high posterior probability outside Lecanorales, Peltigerales and Teloschistales, in Lecanoromycetidae, supporting the recognition of order Lecideales Vain. in this subclass. The genus name Lecidea must be redefined to apply only to Lecidea sensu stricto and to include at least some members of the genus Porpidia. Based on morphological and chemical similarities, as well as the phylogenetic relationship of Lecidea pullata sister to Frutidella caesioatra, the new combination Frutidella pullata is proposed here.

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