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A molecular-genetic reassessment of the circumscription of the lichen genus Icmadophila

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 June 2020

Lars R. Ludwig
Department of Botany, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Gintaras Kantvilas
Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, P.O. Box 5058, UTAS LPO, Sandy Bay, Tasmania7005, Australia
Andy R. Nilsen
Department of Botany, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
David A. Orlovich
Department of Botany, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Yoshihito Ohmura
Department of Botany, National Museum of Nature and Science, 4-1-1 Amakubo, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 3050005, Japan
Tina C. Summerfield
Department of Botany, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Karina Wilk
Department of Lichenology, W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lubicz 46, PL-31-512, Kraków, Poland
Janice M. Lord*
Department of Botany, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Author for correspondence: Janice M. Lord. E-mail:


The circumscription of the lichenized ascomycete genus Icmadophila Trevis. in the family Icmadophilaceae Triebel was investigated. Sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and large subunit of nuclear ribosomal DNA (nuLSU) were generated for the five Icmadophila species and additional members of Icmadophilaceae from the genera Dibaeis, Endocena, Knightiella, Siphula, Siphulella and Thamnolia. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that three Icmadophila species are closely related: the type, I. ericetorum (L.) Zahlbr., which is widespread in Eurasia and North America, I. aversa (Nyl.) Rambold & Hertel from Central and South America, and I. japonica (Zahlbr.) Rambold & Hertel, which is restricted to Far East Russia and Japan. The genus Knightiella Müll. Arg. is reinstated to accommodate I. splachnirima (Hook.f. & Taylor) D. J. Galloway emend. L. Ludw., which occurs in New Zealand and Australia. Two further species of Knightiella, K. eucalypti (Kantvilas) Kantvilas and K. queenslandica Kantvilas, are found to be unrelated to K. splachnirima, and are accommodated in two newly described genera, Knightiellastrum and Siphulopsis respectively. Knightiellastrum L. Ludw. & Kantvilas is characterized by a squamulose, erhizinate, whitish to pale grey thallus with a green, coccoid photobiont and by containing thamnolic acid. Siphulopsis Kantvilas & A. R. Nilsen is similarly characterized by an erhizinate, whitish to pale grey thallus, with a green, coccoid photobiont and containing thamnolic acid, but is instead fruticose. This study reveals considerable diversity within Australasian Icmadophilaceae; ongoing work in the Southern Hemisphere and tropical regions may reveal additional species in this family and clarify the relationships of these newly described genera.

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Copyright © British Lichen Society 2020

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