In order to estimate phylogenetic relationships in the Auriculariales sensu Bandoni (1984) and allied groups we have analysed a representative sample of species by comparison of nuclear coded ribosomal DNA sequences, applying models of neighbour joining, maximum parsimony, conditional clustering, and maximum likelihood.
Analyses of the 5′ terminal domain of the gene coding for the 28 S ribosomal large subunit supported the monophyly of the Dacrymycetales and Tremellales, while the monophyly of the Auriculariales was not supported. The Sebacinaceae, including the genera Sebacina, Efibulobasidium, Tremelloscypha, and Craterocolla, was confirmed as a monophyletic group, which appeared distant from other taxa ascribed to the Auriculariales. Within the latter the following subgroups were significantly supported: (1) a group of closely related species containing members of the genera Auricularia, Exidia, Exidiopsis, Heterochaete, and Eichleriella; (2) a group comprising species of Bourdotia and Ductifera; (3) a group of globose-spored species of the genus Basidiodendron; (4) a group that includes the members of the genus Myxarium and Hyaloria pilacre; (5) a group consisting of species of the genera Protomerulius, Tremellodendropsis, Heterochaetella, and Protodontia. Additional analyses of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the species contained in group (1) resulted in a separation of these fungi due to their basidial types.
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