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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Leavitt, Steven D. [1], Shrestha, Gajendra [2], St. Clair, Larry L. [3].

New Insights into the Phylogeny and Taxonomy of the Lichen-forming Genus Aspicilia (Ascomycota).

We investigated the phylogenetic relationships of the lichen genus Aspicilia using molecular data from the complete nuclear ribosomal ITS region, and fragments of two protein coding markers, ß-tubulin and Mcm7. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted using Bayesian and maximum-parsimony inference with three major objectives: (1) identify the evolutionary history of three putative closely related taxa: A. desertorum (Kremp.) Mereschk., A. fruticulosa (Eversm.) Flagey, and A. hispida Mereschk.; (2) investigate the relationship of the recently described taxon A. uxoris (Werner) V. J. Rico, Aragón & Esnault from populations in Europe and the Colorado Plateau in western North America; and (3) improve our understanding of the phylogeny and classification of these taxa within a broader generic concept. Analyses show that A. desertorum, A. fruticulosa, and A. hispida are in fact closely related. A. hispida is recovered as a well-supported monophyletic lineage in all individual gene trees, with A. fruticulosa recovered as the sister group. Sampled A. desertorum showed more diversity but were generally recovered as sister to the A. hispida/A. fruticulosa group. However, multiple A. desertorum samples were recovered within the A. fruticulosa group, suggesting a recent divergence between these species. A. uxoris was recovered as a well-supported monophyletic lineage, and Lobothallia alphoplaca (Wahlenb.) Hafellner was recovered as the sister group to all sampled A. uxoris. Although the A. uxoris group was recovered as monophyletic, populations in Europe and North America appear to be distinct lineages. Overall, conflict between gene trees makes inference of relationships at a generic level difficult. This conflict may be due in part to gene duplication events in both protein coding loci and ambiguously aligned regions in the ITS marker. These phenomena will be explored in order to resolve intrageneric relationships.

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1 - Brigham Young University, Department of Biology and M.L. Life Science Museum , 401 WIDB Brigham Young University , Provo, Utah, 84602, USA
2 - Brigham Young University, Department of Biology and M.L. Bean Life Science Museum, 193 M.L. Bean Life Science Museum, Provo, Utah, 84602, USA
3 - Brigham Young University, Biology Department and M.L. Bean Life Science Museum, 290 M.L. Bean Life Science Museum, Provo, Utah, 84602, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 40
Location: 554A/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: 40003
Abstract ID:191


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