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Microchemical and molecular investigations reveal Pseudephebe species as cryptic with an environmentally modified morphology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 September 2016

Carlos G. BOLUDA*
Affiliation:
Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense, Plaza de Ramón y Cajal s/n, Madrid 28040, Spain
David L. HAWKSWORTH
Affiliation:
Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense, Plaza de Ramón y Cajal s/n, Madrid 28040, Spain Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK; and Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey TW9 3DS, UK
Pradeep K. DIVAKAR
Affiliation:
Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense, Plaza de Ramón y Cajal s/n, Madrid 28040, Spain
Ana CRESPO
Affiliation:
Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense, Plaza de Ramón y Cajal s/n, Madrid 28040, Spain
Víctor J. RICO
Affiliation:
Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense, Plaza de Ramón y Cajal s/n, Madrid 28040, Spain
*

Abstract

The results of the first molecular phylogenetic study of Pseudephebe are presented; a three-locus phylogeny. The genus is confirmed as monophyletic within the alectorioid clade of Parmeliaceae. Two major clades were recovered, which can be assigned to the two traditional taxa, P. minuscula and P. pubescens, with modifications of the species delimitation, especially the variable P. minuscula. These species are cryptic and cannot be confidently distinguished morphologically due to phenotypic convergence. Therefore, the use of P. pubescens aggr. is recommended for samples not molecularly analyzed. Contrary to previous studies, specimens of both species might have indistinct pseudocyphellae and also contain lichen substances; norstictic acid was detected in c. 60% of specimens tested. An SSU 1516 Group I intron is usually present in P. minuscula but always absent in P. pubescens. The species-level nomenclature is summarized and sequenced reference specimens (RefSpec) for both Pseudephebe species are selected. Sequences from Bryoria mariensis established that this name was a synonym of P. minuscula.

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Articles
Copyright
© British Lichen Society, 2016 

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Microchemical and molecular investigations reveal Pseudephebe species as cryptic with an environmentally modified morphology
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