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Open Access Preliminary notes on dual relevance of ITS sequences and pigments in Hygrocybe taxonomy

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The relationships based on ITS sequences of 48 Hygrocybe s.l. specimens were studied and compared with previously described taxonomic groups. Our specimens formed two well separated genetic groups. The first one includes the species characterized by vivid yellow and red colours, while species belonging to other clades were pallid or pale brown, and in most cases with pink or olive tones. This separation is supported by the presence of muscaflavin pigments among some species referred to Hygrocybe (Bresinsky & Kronawitter 1986). The subgenera distinguished by morphological features can be relatively well recognized on phylogenetic trees, however, the majority of sections were not supported. Variability in the ITS region of Hygrocybe species is unusually high. In some cases sequences differed by more than 25 %, and the lengths of ITS regions also showed large differences. Taxa that were considered as closely related, e.g. the H. conica aggregate, were found to have identical or highly similar sequences. Our results seem to confirm the taxonomic concept of Bresinsky (2008) who proposed the division of the genus Hygrocybe. Hence H. calyptriformis and all examined members of subg. Gliophorus (H. irrigata, H. laeta, H. nitrata, H. psittacina) and subg. Cuphophyllus could be excluded from the genus Hygrocybe s.str. Based on these results further research using DNA markers at the intergeneric level is suggested to revaluate the taxonomy of former Hygrocybe species.

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Keywords: HYGROCYBE; ITS REGION; MOLECULAR TAXONOMY; MUSCAFLAVIN PIGMENTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 30, 2011

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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: [email protected]

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