, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 445-454

New species and distinctive geographical divergences of the genus Sparassis (Basidiomycota): evidence from morphological and molecular data

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Species of the genus Sparassis in East Asia were investigated using morphology and DNA sequences data. Phylogenetic analyses inferred from sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS), the nuclear gene coding for the ribosomal large subunit (nLSU) and partial gene coding RNA polymerase subunit II (rpb2) strongly supported lineages corresponding to morphological features. Three taxa, S. subalpina, S. cystidiosa f. flabelliformis and S. latifolia were recognized from East Asia, and the former two taxa are new to science. The occurrence of S. latifolia in Japan and in the Russian Far East was confirmed. Geographical divergences of Sparassis in the Holarctic were observed. Most species have relatively narrow distribution ranges, and taxa with intercontinental distributions were not detected. Divergence of species in the Northern Hemisphere in different clades appears to have taken place at different times: the S. latifolia-crispa-radicata species complex appears to have undergone a recent radiation, while the S. subalpina-brevipes-spathularia species complex represents a relatively ancient speciation.