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Molecular data support Pseudoparmelia as a distinct lineage related to Relicina and Relicinopsis (Ascomycota, Lecanorales)

  • Kawinnat BUARUANG (a1), Klara SCHARNAGL (a2), Pradeep DIVAKAR (a3), Steven D. LEAVITT (a4), Ana CRESPO (a3), Thomas H. NASH (a5), Leka MANOCH (a1), Robert LÜCKING (a4) and H. Thorsten LUMBSCH (a4)...

The phylogenetic position of the genus Pseudoparmelia was addressed using molecular data from five loci (mtSSU, nuLSU, ITS, Mcm7, RPB1), generated from three species and aligned with sequences from 293 samples representing all major clades of Parmeliaceae. Pseudoparmelia species form a well-supported monophyletic group that is the sister group of a clade consisting of the genera Relicina and Relicinopsis. These three genera share a thallus with a pored epicortex, isolichenan as cell wall polysaccharide, and relatively small ascospores. Morphological and chemical characters that distinguish Pseudoparmelia from the closely related Relicina and Relicinopsis are discussed. To further elucidate the relationships of these three genera, we assembled a second dataset including 15 additional samples of Relicina and Relicinopsis using three loci (mtSSU, nuLSU, ITS). All three genera are monophyletic but monophyly of Relicina lacks support and, in the mtSSU single locus tree, the genus is paraphyletic with Relicinopsis nested within. Additional studies including more Relicina species are necessary to test delimitation of the genera Relicina and Relicinopsis.

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