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Tremella caloplacae (Zahlbr.) Diederich is a species complex including at least nine different species. Here, we formally describe the new species Tremella elegantis, T. nimisiana, T. parietinae, T. pusillae and T. sorediatae. Tremella elegantis induces galls in the hymenium of Rusavskia elegans and forms 2-celled basidia, where cells rarely elongate and sometimes give the appearance of two immature, independent basidia. Tremella nimisiana has small basidiomata (less than 1 mm diam.), narrowly ellipsoid to pyriform 2-celled, occasionally clavate to subcylindrical 3-celled basidia, and grows in the hymenium of Xanthocarpia species. Tremella parietinae is characterized by the exclusive growth in the hymenium of Xanthoria parietina, the broadly fusiform to ellipsoid probasidia, and the subspherical, pyriform or ellipsoid 2(–3)-celled basidia. Tremella pusillae has ellipsoidal probasidia, 2(–3)-celled pyriform or ellipsoidal basidia that sometimes are constricted at the septum, and grows only on Calogaya pusilla. Tremella sorediatae is characterized by inducing galls on the thallus of Rusavskia sorediata and by pyriform to ellipsoid basidia that sometimes are constricted at the septum. Three species are not formally described and are left unnamed as Tremella sp. 13 on Calogaya biatorina, Tremella sp. 14 on Calogaya decipiens and Tremella sp. 15 on Polycauliona sp. Tremella caloplacae in the strict sense is re-circumscribed as a species confined to Variospora species.
The lichenicolous ‘heterobasidiomycetes’ belong in the Tremellomycetes (Agaricomycotina) and in the Pucciniomycotina. In this paper, we provide an introduction and review of these lichenicolous taxa, focusing on recent studies and novelties of their classification, phylogeny and evolution. Lichen-inhabiting fungi in the Pucciniomycotina are represented by only a small number of species included in the genera Chionosphaera, Cyphobasidium and Lichenozyma. The phylogenetic position of the lichenicolous representatives of Chionosphaera has, however, never been investigated by molecular methods. Phylogenetic analyses using the nuclear SSU, ITS, and LSU ribosomal DNA markers reveal that the lichenicolous members of Chionosphaera form a monophyletic group in the Pucciniomycotina, distinct from Chionosphaera and outside the Chionosphaeraceae. The new genus Crittendenia is described to accommodate these lichen-inhabiting species. Crittendenia is characterized by minute synnemata-like basidiomata, the presence of clamp connections and aseptate tubular basidia from which 4–7 spores discharge passively, often in groups. Crittendenia, Cyphobasidium and Lichenozyma are the only lichenicolous lineages known so far in the Pucciniomycotina, whereas Chionosphaera does not include any lichenicolous taxa.
Recently, the number of cryptic species known has increased considerably, showing that species diversity has in many cases been underestimated in the past. Parmelia sulcata is a widely distributed species and one of the most common taxa in temperate Europe. The first intra-specific molecular studies on P. sulcata showed an unexpectedly high genetic variability. In the present work, we study the biodiversity of this taxon including specimens from four continents and using three molecular markers (nuITS, nuIGS rDNA, and partial β-tubulin gene). Two monophyletic groups of P. sulcata were encountered; one of these is epitypified as P. sulcata s. str and the other one is segregated as the new cryptic species P. encryptata sp. nov. Issues surrounding the lectotypification of Parmelia sulcata have also been elucidated.
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