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A molecular phylogeny of the lichen genus Biatora including some morphologically similar species

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 May 2014

Christian PRINTZEN
Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum, Abteilung Botanik und Molekulare Evolutionsforschung, Senckenberganlage 25, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Email:
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The lichen genus Biatora comprises inconspicuous crustose lichens that are typically found on organic substrata such as tree bark, bryophytes and detritus. During the last 20 years many new species have been added to the genus making its delimitation more and more difficult. The infrageneric relationships of the 42 species have never been investigated thoroughly. Using DNA sequences from three gene loci (ITS, RPB2, mrSSU) and 59 OTUs, an attempt was made to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships of Biatora and its infrageneric groups. Cliostomum appears to be the closest relative of Biatora. The position of Mycobilimbia in the Lecania-clade is confirmed. Phylogenetic relationships within Biatora are poorly supported, but six different species groups that are also phenotypically distinguished are more or less well supported: the vernalis-, meiocarpa-, hertelii-, ocelliformis-, beckhausii- and rufidula- groups. The analysis also confirms the presence of several undescribed taxa. Biatora subduplex as currently circumscribed appears to be heterogeneous, as does B. helvola. Based on the phylogeny, the distributional range of B. alaskana is extended to Japan. The new combinations Biatora ementiens (Nyl.) Printzen and Biatora hemipolia (Nyl.) S. Ekman & Printzen are made and both names are typified.

Copyright © British Lichen Society 2014 

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