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Mycol Res. 2009 Oct;113(Pt 10):1154-71. doi: 10.1016/j.mycres.2009.07.016. Epub 2009 Jul 29.

High concentration of basidiolichens in a single family of agaricoid mushrooms (Basidiomycota: Agaricales: Hygrophoraceae).

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  • 1Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444, USA. jlawrey@gmu.edu

Abstract

The Agaricales is the largest and most diverse order of mushroom-forming Basidiomycota, with over 100 natural groups recognized in recent Fungal Tree of Life studies. Most agarics are either saprotrophic or ectomycorrhizal fungi, but the family Hygrophoraceae is in part characterized by a unique and remarkable diversity of lichenized forms. The most familiar of these is the chlorolichen genus Lichenomphalia, whose phylogenetic position in the Agaricales has been established. Recent limited evidence suggested that Hygrophoraceae also contains cyanolichens in the genus Dictyonema, which indicates a remarkable concentration and diversity of lichen-formers in a single family of agarics. To demonstrate the relationships of lichen-formers to other fungi in the family, we assembled ribosomal sequences from 52 species representing recognized groups within the Hygrophoraceae, among them new sequences representing Acantholichen and most species and forms of Dictyonema. The molecular data were evaluated using parsimony, likelihood, Bayesian, and distance analyses, including coding of ambiguous regions by means of INAASE and ARC, all of which indicate that Dictyonema and Acantholichen form a monophyletic clade derived from the primarily bryophilous genus Arrhenia and sister to the enigmatic Athelia pyriformis, a species unrelated to the Atheliales for which we are proposing a new genus name Eonema. The chlorolichen genus Lichenomphalia may be polyphyletic. Fungi in the Dictyonema-Acantholichen clade are typically tropical, entirely lichenized, and associate with cyanobacterial photobionts. Our data indicate a transition from agaricoid-omphalinoid basidiomes observed in Arrhenia to stereoid-corticioid forms in Dictyonema, and also support a previous suggestion of a connection between loss of clamp connections and lichenization. The diverse basidiome and thallus morphologies and nutritional ecologies of these fungi indicate a remarkable evolutionary flexibility that appears to have developed in part as a consequence of symbiosis.

PMID:
19646529
DOI:
10.1016/j.mycres.2009.07.016
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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