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The position of the genus Apopellia stat. nov. within the Pelliales (Marchantiophytina: Jungermanniopsida)

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A comprehensive survey of the liverwort family Pelliaceae including molecular, morphological and biogeographical data reveals a deep split of the taxa into two main clades each corresponding to a morphologically clearly delimited group. Therefore, the recognition of two distinct genera within the Pelliaceae is suggested: (1) Pellia, which comprises P. appalachiana, P. columbiana, P. epiphylla, and P. neesiana, and (2) Apopellia, formerly described as a subgenus of Pellia including A. alpicola, A. endiviifolia, and A. megaspora. According to phylogenetic analyses of a concatenated sequence matrix spanning three plastid regions (trnL-F, rps4, rpl16), P. epiphylla var. borealis is nested within P. epiphylla. There is conflicting evidence for the monophyly of A. megaspora. While maximum likelihood significantly supports its monophyly, Bayesian inference resolves a grade of eastern and western North American specimens. Apopellia endiviifolia is monophyletic but forms three genetically distinct groups of different geographical distribution. Shared characters of Apopellia vs. Pellia are: apical cell wedge-shaped vs. hemidiscoid, slime hairs pluricellular vs. two-celled, thickening bands lacking vs. well developed, male tubercles aperture cells inconspicuous vs. cells papilliforme, archegonia posture erect vs. horizontal to ascending, calyptra smooth vs. two-celled hairs. Both, a description including habitat and distribution of all seven currently known species of Pelliaceae and a key to the species is provided.
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Keywords: APOPELLIA; DISTRIBUTION; KEY; MORPHOLOGY; PELLIA; PHYLOGENY; RPL16; RPS4; TAXONOMY; TRNL-F

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Rosenstein 1, 70191 Stuttgart, Germany, Martin Nebel;, Email: [email protected] 2: Nees-Institut für Biodiversität der Pflanzen, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 170, 53115 Bonn, Germany 3: Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde Stuttgart, Rosenstein 1, 70191 Stuttgart, Germany

Publication date: 03 May 2016

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