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Generic classification of the Verrucariaceae (Ascomycota) based on molecular and morphological evidence: recent progress and remaining challenges

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Recent molecular phylogenetic analyses and morphological studies have shown that it is necessary to revise the present morphology-based generic delineation of the lichen family Verrucariaceae in order to account for evolutionary relatedness between species. Consequently, several genera were recently described or resurrected, and others were re-circumscribed. As an additional step toward this generic revision, three new genera (Hydropunctaria, Parabagliettoa, Wahlenbergiella) and eleven new combinations are proposed here. A summary of the current taxonomic and morphological circumscription of all genera investigated so far is also presented. Several monophyletic groups are identified for which further taxonomical changes will be required, but for which taxon and gene sampling is presently viewed as insufficient. Clear morphological synapomorphies were found to be rare for newly delimited genera. In some cases (reduced morphology or plesiomorphism), even the combinations of slightly homoplasious phenotypic characters do not allow a clear morphological generic circumscription. Molecular features are envisioned as characters for delimiting these taxa.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, P.O. Box 85167, 3508 AD Utrecht, the Netherlands; Duke University, Biology Department, Box 90338, Durham, North Carolina 27708, U.S.A. 2: Uppsala University, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Department of Systematic Botany, Norbyvägen 18D, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden 3: Botany Department, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, U.K. 4: Chemin des Vignes vieilles, 84120 Mirabeau, France 5: Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland 6: Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, ESCET, Área de Biodiversidad y Conservación, c/ Tulipán s/n, 28933 Móstoles, Madrid, Spain 7: Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Akureyri division, P.O. Box 180, 602 Akureyri, Iceland 8: Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Botanische Abteilung, Burgring 7, 1010 Wien, Austria 9: Department of Biodiversity and Systematic Biology, National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP, U.K. 10: Botanical Museum, Östra Vallgatan 18, 223 61 Lund, Sweden 11: Institute for Ecology, Department of Zoology, Copenhagen University, Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark 12: Departament de Biologia Vegetal (Botànica), Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain 13: Laboratory of Lichenology, Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lubicz 46, 31-512 Kraków, Poland 14: Finnish Environment Institute, Research Programme for Biodiversity, P.O. Box 140, 00251 Helsinki, Finland 15: Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Holteigasse 6, 8010 Graz, Austria 16: Duke University, Biology Department, Box 90338, Durham, North Carolina 27708, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2009-02-01

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