Mycological Progress

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 237–246 | Cite as

Phylogenetic relationships among species of Leotia (Leotiales) based on ITS and RPB2 sequences

  • Zhihong Zhong
  • Donald H. Pfister


Thirty-three collections of Leotia were used to investigate inter-and infra-specific relationships in the genus. Collections were obtained from various parts of the world and represent the ascomatal color forms typical in species of the genus. The ITS rDNA and a variable region of the RNA polymerase II (RPB2) gene were sequenced and analyzed using parsimony and maximum likelihood methods. Although ITS and RPB2 tree topologies differed in regard to the position of two clades of L. lubrica and L. atrovirens, no significant conflict between ITS and RPB2 data or trees was found as determined by the partition homogeneity test. RPB2 sequences in general gave results comparable to ITS; the RPB2 sequences were more easily aligned. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequence data indicates that L. viscosa, L. lubrica and L. atrovirens are polyphyletic species. This suggests that ascomatal color in fresh specimens is not a reliable character alone for determining species in this group. Four major well-supported groups were found; these do not fully correspond to the commonly recognized species. Stipe color, in both fresh and dry condition, seems to correlate with the major recognized groups but features of the ascospores, asci and paraphyses prove too variable to be informative. The most basal group of Leotia species, identified as L. atrovirens, differ from all others by having stipes without gel tissue in their outer layers.


Phylogenetic Relationship Outer Layer Ascus Likelihood Method Maximum Likelihood Method 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© DGfM 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridge

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