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Research article2019Peer reviewed

Lichen chemistry is concordant with multilocus gene genealogy in the genus Cetrelia (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota)

Mark, Kristiina; Randlane, Tiina; Thor, Goran; Hur, Jae-Seoun; Obermayer, Walter; Saag, Andres


The lichen genus Cetrelia represents a taxonomically interesting case where morphologically almost uniform populations differ considerably from each other chemically. Similar variation is not uncommon among lichenized fungi, but it is disputable whether such populations should be considered entities at the species level. Species boundaries in Cetrelia are traditionally delimited either as solely based on morphology or as combinations of morpho- and chemotypes. A dataset of four nuclear markers (ITS, IGS, Mcm7, RPB1) from 62 specimens, representing ten Cetrelia species, was analysed within Bayesian and maximum likelihood frameworks. Analyses recovered a well-resolved phylogeny where the traditional species generally were monophyletic, with the exception of Cetrelia chicitae and Cetrelia pseudolivetorum. Species delimitation analyses supported the distinction of 15 groups within the studied Cetrelia taxa, dividing three traditionally identified species into some species candidates. Chemotypes, distinguished according to the major medullary substance, clearly correlated with clades recovered within Cetrelia, while samples with the same reproductive mode were dispersed throughout the phylogenetic tree. Consequently, delimiting Cetrelia species based only on reproductive morphology is not supported phylogenetically. Character analyses suggest that chemical characters have been more consistent compared to reproductive mode and indicate that metabolite evolution in Cetrelia towards more complex substances is probable. (C) 2018 British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Character evolution; Lichenized fungi; Molecular phylogeny; Secondary metabolites; Species delimitation

Published in

Fungal Biology
2019, Volume: 123, number: 2, pages: 125-139

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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