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Open Access Phylogeny and character evolution of the coprinoid mushroom genus Parasola as inferred from LSU and ITS nrDNA sequence data

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Phylogenetic relationships, species concepts and morphological evolution of the coprinoid mushroom genus Parasola were studied. A combined dataset of nuclear ribosomal ITS and LSU sequences was used to infer phylogenetic relationships of Parasola species and several outgroup taxa. Clades recovered in the phylogenetic analyses corresponded well to morphologically discernable species, although in the case of P. leiocephala, P. lilatincta and P. plicatilis amended concepts proved necessary. Parasola galericuliformis and P. hemerobia are shown to be synonymous with P. leiocephala and P. plicatilis, respectively. By mapping morphological characters on the phylogeny, it is shown that the emergence of deliquescent Parasola taxa was accompanied by the development of pleurocystidia, brachybasidia and a plicate pileus. Spore shape and the position of the germ pore on the spores showed definite evolutionary trends within the group: from ellipsoid the former becomes more voluminous and heart-shaped, the latter evolves from central to eccentric in taxa referred to as 'crown' Parasola species. The results are discussed and compared to other Coprinus s.l. and Psathyrella taxa. Homoplasy and phylogenetic significance of various morphological characters, as well as indels in ITS and LSU sequences, are also evaluated.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-06-30

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  • Persoonia aims to publish papers dealing with molecular phylogeny and evolution of fungi. A further aim is to promote fungal taxonomy by employing a polythetic approach to clarify the true phylogeny and relationships within the kingdom Fungi. The journal publishes high-quality papers elucidating known and novel fungal taxa at the DNA level, and also strives to present novel insights into evolutionary processes and relationships. Papers to be considered include research articles and reviews.

    Papers are published using a Fast Track system. This implies that the papers are immediately published online and freely available through the internet via this website. Volumes appear twice a year (June and December). From Volume 36 onwards (2016) hard copy volumes will only be made available through printing-on-demand. The issues can be ordered separately through the Publication Division of Naturalis Biodiversity Center; e-mail:

    Persoonia is a journal published jointly by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute.
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