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Molecular data show that Bryoria fremontii and B. tortuosa (Parmeliaceae) are conspecific

  • Saara VELMALA (a1), Leena MYLLYS (a1), Pekka HALONEN (a2), Trevor GOWARD (a3) and Teuvo AHTI (a1)...

Bryoria fremontii and B. tortuosa are the only species in the lichenized ascomycete genus Bryoria known to contain the pulvinic acid derivative vulpinic acid. In B. fremontii this yellow pigment is restricted to the soralia and apothecia, while in B. tortuosa it can occur throughout the thallus. The actual amount of vulpinic acid produced by B. tortuosa is rather variable, however, with intermediate specimens bearing both white and yellow pseudocyphellae. We studied the relationship between the two species with parsimony analysis using four DNA regions: 1) the internal transcribed spacers of the nuclear rDNA including the 5.8S region (ITS), 2) partial sequences from the intergenic spacer of the nuclear rDNA (IGS), 3) partial sequences from the small subunit of the mitochondrial rDNA (mtSSU), and 4) partial sequences from the protein-coding glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene (GAPDH). Our phylogenetic analysis revealed that B. fremontii and B. tortuosa must be regarded as conspecific, but allowing for some genetic differentiation between European and North American populations. Bryoria tortuosa is therefore synonymized with B. fremontii.

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