Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 481–495 | Cite as

A phylogeny of Lophocoleaceae-Plagiochilaceae-Brevianthaceae and a revised classification of Plagiochilaceae

  • Simon D. F. Patzak
  • Matt A. M. Renner
  • Alfons Schäfer-Verwimp
  • Kathrin Feldberg
  • Margaret M. Heslewood
  • Denilson F. Peralta
  • Aline Matos de Souza
  • Harald Schneider
  • Jochen Heinrichs
Original Article


The Lophocoleaceae-Plagiochilaceae-Brevianthaceae clade is a largely terrestrial, subcosmopolitan lineage of jungermannialean leafy liverworts that may include significantly more than 1000 species. Here we present the most comprehensively sampled phylogeny available to date based on the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region and the chloroplast markers rbcL and rps4 of 372 accessions. Brevianthaceae (consisting of Brevianthus and Tetracymbaliella) form a sister relationship with Lophocoleaceae; this lineage is in turn sister to Plagiochilaceae. Plagiochila is resolved monophyletic subsequent to exclusion of Plagiochila radiculosa; this species is placed in a new genus Cryptoplagiochila. Chiastocaulon and a polyphyletic Acrochila nest in Plagiochilion; these three genera are united under Chiastocaulon to include the Plagiochilaceae species with dominating or exclusively ventral branching. The generic classification of the Lophocoleaceae is still unresolved. We discuss alternative approaches to obtain strictly monophyletic genera by visualizing their consistence with the obtained consensus topology. The presented phylogeny will serve as a basis for follow-up studies including several thousand accessions. These studies will enable revision of current hypotheses on species diversity and distribution of Lophocoleaceae-Plagiochilaceae-Brevianthaceae and allow for a reconstruction of their evolution in time and space.


Acrochila Bryophyte Chiastocaulon Chiloscyphus Cryptoplagiochila Genus concept Liverwort Plagiochilion 



This study was supported by an LMU student research grant to SDFP and an ABRS postdoctoral fellowship (grant RFL213-14) to MAMR and the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust. We thank the directors and curators of the herbaria GOET, JE and M for the access to specimens and permission for destructive sampling.

Supplementary material

13127_2015_258_MOESM1_ESM.doc (269 kb)
Table S1 Taxa used in the present study, including information about the origin of the studied material, voucher information, as well as GenBank accession numbers. Sequences taken from GenBank are marked with asterisks. Crosses mark sequences that resulted from present study. (DOC 269 kb)


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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon D. F. Patzak
    • 1
  • Matt A. M. Renner
    • 2
  • Alfons Schäfer-Verwimp
    • 3
  • Kathrin Feldberg
    • 1
  • Margaret M. Heslewood
    • 2
  • Denilson F. Peralta
    • 4
  • Aline Matos de Souza
    • 5
  • Harald Schneider
    • 6
    • 7
  • Jochen Heinrichs
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Biology, Department of Biology and Geobio-CenterLudwig Maximilian UniversityMunichGermany
  2. 2.Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain TrustSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Herdwangen-SchönachGermany
  4. 4.Instituto de BotânicaSão PauloBrazil
  5. 5.Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Avenida Transnordestina s/n, Novo HorizonteUniversidade Estadual de Feira de SantanaFeira de SantanaBrazil
  6. 6.Department of Life ScienceNatural History MuseumLondonUK
  7. 7.School of Life SciencesSun Yatsen UniversityGuangzhouChina

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