Multilocus molecular phylogeny of the Umbilicaria aprina group (Umbilicariaceae, lichenized Ascomycota) supports species level and neo-endemic status of Umbilicaria krascheninnikovii

Davydov E.A., Himelbrant D.E., Kuznetsova E.S., Stepanchikova I.S. & Yakovchenko L.S.
13(5): 729 [23 p.]
The Northeast Asian endemic species of lichen-forming fungus Umbilicaria krascheninnikovii is herein discussed in the global context of biogeography and phylogeny of the U. aprina group. The name U. krascheninnikovii has been erroneously used by lichenologists for Umbilicaria spp. from high latitudes or altitudes worldwide, as there are omphalodisc apothecia and rough “crystals” of a necral layer on the upper surface. To test the monophyly and phylogenetic relationships within the U. aprina group, four independent DNA regions (nrITS/5.8S, RPB2, mtLSU, and mtSSU) were used for six rare species, including a dozen specimens of U. krascheninnikovii from its locus classicus in Kamchatka. The study is based on the phylograms obtained using maximum likelihood and a Bayesian phylogenetic inference framework. As a result of phylogenetic and biogeographic analyses, it was shown that U. krascheninnikovii is a neo-endemic of the areas of modern volcanism in Kamchatka, Japan, as well as in the Kurile Islands, where this species was recorded for the first time. The morphology of U. krascheninnikovii is herein described and illustrated. Increasing the role of the sexual process and reducing asexual thalloconidiogenesis are shown to be apomorphic traits in the U. aprina group. The combination of sexual and asexual reproduction provides adaptive advantages in changing environmental conditions. Keywords: molecular phylogeny; morphology; thalloconidia; Umbilicaria polaris.
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