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The genus Relicinopsis is nested within Relicina (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota)

  • Paul M. KIRIKA (a1) (a2), Pradeep K. DIVAKAR (a3), Steven D. LEAVITT (a4), Kawinnat BUARUANG (a5), Ana CRESPO (a3), George MUGAMBI (a6), Grace W. GATHERI (a1) and H. Thorsten LUMBSCH (a4)...

Macro-morphological features traditionally used to segregate genera in Parmeliaceae have been shown to be highly plastic, placing limits on their taxonomic value. Here we aim to elucidate the evolutionary relationships of the genera Relicina and Relicinopsis and reassess the phenotypic features traditionally used to separate these genera. To this end, we gathered ribosomal DNA sequences of ITS, nuLSU and mtSSU and analyzed them in a phylogenetic framework. Relicina was recovered as paraphyletic, with Relicinopsis nested within, and three different clades were identified within Relicina. Alternative hypothesis tests significantly rejected the monophyly of Relicina. Our results indicate that the presence or absence of bulbate cilia is of limited taxonomic value in this clade. Based on differences in conidia, however, we propose to accept Relicinopsis as a subgenus within Relicina as Relicina subgen. Relicinopsis (Elix & Verdon) Kirika, Divakar & Lumbsch. It is proposed that five new combinations of species previously classified in Relicinopsis be placed in Relicina.

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