To provide a robust phylogeny of Pezizaceae, partial sequences from two nuclear protein-coding genes, RPB2 (encoding the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II) and β-tubulin, were obtained from 69 and 72 specimens, respectively, to analyze with nuclear ribosomal large subunit RNA gene sequences (LSU). The three-gene data set includes 32 species of Peziza, and 27 species from nine additional epigeous and six hypogeous (truffle) pezizaceous genera. Analyses of the combined LSU, RPB2, and β-tubulin data set using parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian approaches identify 14 fine-scale lineages within Pezizaceae. Species of Peziza occur in eight of the lineages, spread among other genera of the family, confirming the non-monophyly of the genus. Although parsimony analyses of the three-gene data set produced a nearly completely resolved strict consensus tree, with increased confidence, relationships between the lineages are still resolved with mostly weak bootstrap support. Bayesian analyses of the three-gene data, however, show support for several more inclusive clades, mostly congruent with Bayesian analyses of RPB2. No strongly supported incongruence was found among phylogenies derived from the separate LSU, RPB2, and β-tubulin data sets. The RPB2 region appeared to be the most informative single gene region based on resolution and clade support, and accounts for the greatest number of potentially parsimony informative characters within the combined data set, followed by the LSU and the β-tubulin region. The results indicate that third codon positions in β-tubulin are saturated, especially for sites that provide information about the deeper relationships. Nevertheless, almost all phylogenetic signal in β-tubulin is due to third positions changes, with almost no signal in first and second codons, and contribute phylogenetic information at the "fine-scale" level within the Pezizaceae. The Pezizaceae is supported as monophyletic in analyses of the three-gene data set, but its sister-group relationships is not resolved with support. The results advocate the use of RPB2 as a marker for ascomycete phylogenetics at the inter-generic level, whereas the β-tubulin gene appears less useful. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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