A phylogeny of the highly diverse cup-fungus family Pyronemataceae (Pezizomycetes, Ascomycota) clarifies relationships and evolution of selected life history traits

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Pyronemataceae is the largest and most heterogeneous family of Pezizomycetes. It is morphologically and ecologically highly diverse, comprising saprobic, ectomycorrhizal, bryosymbiotic and parasitic species, occurring in a broad range of habitats (on soil, burnt ground, debris, wood, dung and inside living bryophytes, plants and lichens). To assess the monophyly of Pyronemataceae and provide a phylogenetic hypothesis of the group, we compiled a four-gene dataset including one nuclear ribosomal and three protein-coding genes for 132 distinct Pezizomycetes species (4437 nucleotides with all markers available for 80% of the total 142 included taxa). This is the most comprehensive molecular phylogeny of Pyronemataceae, and Pezizomycetes, to date. Three hundred ninety-four new sequences were generated during this project, with the following numbers for each gene: RPB1 (124), RPB2 (99), EF-1 alpha (120) and LSU rDNA (51). The dataset includes 93 unique species from 40 genera of Pyronemataceae, and 34 species from 25 genera representing an additional 12 families of the class. Parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses suggest that Pyronemataceae is paraphyletic due to the nesting of both Ascodesmidaceae and Glaziellaceae within the family. Four lineages with taxa currently classified in the family, the Boubovia, Geopyxis, Pseudombrophila and Pulvinula lineages, form a monophyletic group with Ascodesmidaceae and Glaziellaceae. We advocate the exclusion of these four lineages in order to recognize a monophyletic Pyronemataceae. The genus Coprotus (Thelebolales, Leotiomycetes) is shown to belong to Pezizomycetes, forming a strongly supported monophyletic group with Boubovia. Ten strongly supported lineages are identified within Pyronemataceae s. str. Of these, the Pyropyxis and Otidea lineages are identified as successive sister lineages to the rest of Pyronemataceae s. str. The highly reduced (gymnohymenial) Monascella is shown to belong to Pezizomycetes and is for the first time suggested to be closely related to the cleistothecial Warcupia, as a sister group to the primarily apothecial Otidea. None of the lineages of pyronemataceous taxa identified here correspond to previous families or subfamily classifications. Ancestral character state reconstructions (ASR) using a Bayesian approach support that the ancestors of Pezizomycetes and Pyronemataceae were soil inhabiting and saprobic. Ectomycorrhizae have arisen within both lineages A, B and C of Pezizomycetes and are suggested to have evolved independently seven to eight times within Pyronemataceae s. L, whereas an obligate bryosymbiotic lifestyle has arisen only twice. No reversals to a free-living, saprobic lifestyle have happened from symbiotic or parasitic Pyronemataceae. Specializations to various substrates (e.g. burnt ground and dung) are suggested to have occurred several times in mainly saprobic lineages. Although carotenoids in the apothecia are shown to have arisen at least four times in Pezizomycetes, the ancestor of Pyronemataceae s. str., excluding the Pyropyxis and Otidea lineages, most likely produced carotenoids, which were then subsequently lost in some clades ( and possibly gained again). Excipular hairs were found with a high probability to be absent from apothecia in the deepest nodes of Pezizomycetes and in the ancestor of Pyronemataceae s. str. True hairs are restricted to the core group of Pyronemataceae s. str., but are also found in Lasiobolus (Ascodesmidaceae), the Pseudombrophila lineage and the clade of Chorioactidaceae, Sarcoscyphaceae and Sarcosomataceae. The number of gains and losses of true hairs within Pyronemataceae s. str., however, remains uncertain. The ASR of ascospore guttulation under binary coding (present or absent) indicates that this character is fast evolving and prone to shifts. O 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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Last updated on 04/26/2019