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Historical biogeography of the lichenized fungal genus Hypotrachyna (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota): insights into the evolutionary history of a pantropical clade

  • Paloma CUBAS (a1), H. Thorsten LUMBSCH (a2), Ruth DEL PRADO (a1), Zuzana FERENCOVA (a1), Nestor L. HLADUN (a3), Victor J. RICO (a1) and Pradeep K. DIVAKAR (a1)...

Hypotrachyna is a speciose genus of primarily tropical and oceanic lichen-forming fungi. It includes species with distinct distribution patterns, such as pantropical, restricted and disjunct species. We used a dataset of mitochondrial SSU, nuclear ITS and LSU ribosomal DNA from 89 specimens to study the historical biogeography of the genus. We employed Bayesian and maximum likelihood approaches for phylogenetic analyses, a likelihood-based approach to ancestral area estimation, and a Bayesian approach to estimate divergence times of major lineages within the genus based on molecular evolutionary rates for ITS and a secondary calibration point at the Hypotrachyna clade – Parmeliopsis split. Our analyses suggest that the genus might have originated in the Neotropics during the Eocene and that the split of major lineages happened primarily during the Eocene and Oligocene. The major diversification within those clades is estimated to have occurred during the Miocene. Pantropical species distributions are explained by long-distance dispersal. A number of currently accepted species were found to be non-monophyletic, illustrating that the delimitation of species in the genus needs attention.

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