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The Potential of Mitochondrial DNA for Establishing Phylogeny and Stabilising Generic Concepts in the Parmelioid Lichens

Ana Crespo, Oscar Blanco and David L. Hawksworth
Taxon
Vol. 50, No. 3, Golden Jubilee Part 5 (Aug., 2001), pp. 807-819
DOI: 10.2307/1223708
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1223708
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Potential of Mitochondrial DNA for Establishing Phylogeny and Stabilising Generic Concepts in the Parmelioid Lichens
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Abstract

A satisfactory resolution of the current instability of generic concepts in the parmelioid lichens, and particularly Parmelia s.l., has not so far emerged from molecular studies. The rDNA ITS sequence has proven too variable and the rDNA SSU too conserved to provide satisfactory discrimination around the family and generic levels in Parmeliaceae s.l. Studies of 31 new sequences of species belonging to 30 genera in the family (including the type species of 21) are reported here. These demonstrate that the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) SSU region has the potential to play a major role in establishing the phylogeny and stabilising generic concepts in some of the world's most conspicuous lichens. Some clades identified appear to correlate with differences in cell wall carbohydrates, epicortical, conidial, and other features. The emerging groupings now need to be further tested by the inclusion of sequences from additional genera and species. Nomenclatural changes should not be made until further work has been carried out.

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