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Am J Bot. 2013 Apr;100(4):664-78. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1200162. Epub 2013 Mar 17.

Multilocus approach to species recognition in the Cladonia humilis complex (Cladoniaceae, Ascomycota).

Author information

1
Departamento Biología Vegetal 1, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. rpino@bio.ucm.es

Abstract

PREMISE OF THE STUDY:

The members of the Cladonia humilis complex are characterized by a well-developed primary thallus and broadly scyphose podetia. In the present study, this complex was phylogenetically analyzed to test the boundaries between the species and to determine the usefulness of the phenotypic characters to distinguish them. The species C. conista, C. cyathomorpha, C. hammeri, C. humilis, C. kurokawae, C. nashii, C. pulvinella, and C. subconistea were examined.

METHODS:

Four DNA loci were sequenced and analyzed to test the monophyly of the species. For the phylogenetic reconstructions, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods were employed. The genealogical sorting index was used to quantify the exclusive ancestry of the nonmonophyletic species on the tree.

KEY RESULTS:

The performed phylogenetic analyses showed that the C. humilis complex is not monophyletic. Cladonia nashii is not closely related to the remaining taxa within the complex. Seven monophyletic lineages were identified, most of which comprise specimens belonging to more than one chemotype. Cladonia hammeri and C. pulvinella are conspecific, and this taxon is not present in Europe.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study suggests that morphological characters and secondary metabolites have less taxonomical value than thought in the Cladonia humilis complex. Use of multilocus phylogeny is recommended to delimit species.

PMID:
23507737
DOI:
10.3732/ajb.1200162
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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