Molecular insights into the phylogeny and subgeneric classification of Frullania Raddi (Frullaniaceae, Porellales).
With an estimated 300-375 species, Frullania is the largest genus of Porellales and forms a major clade of leafy liverworts. The cosmopolitan genus includes mostly epiphytes and represents an important component of the cryptogamic vegetation in various, especially tropical, habitats. There have been abundant changes and modifications to the infrageneric classification of Frullania, with up to fifteen subgenera and numerous sections solely based on morphology. Here we present the first molecular phylogeny of Frullania using four markers (rbcL, psbA, trnL-trnF region of cp DNA, nr5.8S-ITS-2 region) and 171 accessions from throughout the range. The molecular data provide evidence for the monophyly of several subgenera and support intercontinental ranges of these clades. Previous subgeneric assignment for a suite of taxa based on morphological evidence is not supported by the molecular data. Representatives of the genera Amphijubula, Neohattoria and Schusterella are nested in robust subclades of Frullania. Basal relationships within Frullania are largely unsupported. Based on the outcome of the phylogenetic analyses we present a revised supraspecific classification and provide evidence for the monophyly of some morphological species. Disjunct distributional patterns within Frullania cannot be explained by Gondwanan vicariance.
Hentschel, J; von Konrat, MJ; Pócs, T; Schäfer-Verwimp, A; Jonathan Shaw, A; Schneider, H; Heinrichs, J
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