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      A synopsis of the saddle fungi ( Helvella: Ascomycota) in Europe – species delimitation, taxonomy and typification

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          Helvella is a widespread, speciose genus of large apothecial ascomycetes ( Pezizomycete: Pezizales) that are found in terrestrial biomes of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This study represents a beginning on assessing species limits and applying correct names for Helvella species based on type material and specimens in the university herbaria (fungaria) of Copenhagen (C), Harvard (FH) and Oslo (O). We use morphology and phylogenetic evidence from four loci – heat shock protein 90 ( hsp), translation elongation factor alpha ( tef), RNA polymerase II ( rpb2) and the nuclear large subunit ribosomal DNA (LSU) – to assess species boundaries in an expanded sample of Helvella specimens from Europe. We combine the morphological and phylogenetic information from 55 Helvella species from Europe with a small sample of Helvella species from other regions of the world. Little intraspecific variation was detected within the species using these molecular markers; hsp and rpb2 markers provided useful barcodes for species delimitation in this genus, while LSU provided more variable resolution among the pertinent species. We discuss typification issues and identify molecular characteristics for 55 European Helvella species, designate neo- and epitypes for 30 species, and describe seven Helvella species new to science, i.e., H. alpicola, H. alpina, H. carnosa, H. danica, H. nannfeldtii, H. pubescens and H. scyphoides.

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          Phylogenetic species recognition and species concepts in fungi.

          The operational species concept, i.e., the one used to recognize species, is contrasted to the theoretical species concept. A phylogenetic approach to recognize fungal species based on concordance of multiple gene genealogies is compared to those based on morphology and reproductive behavior. Examples where Phylogenetic Species Recognition has been applied to fungi are reviewed and concerns regarding Phylogenetic Species Recognition are discussed.
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            Sibling Species in the Sea

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              Profiling phylogenetic informativeness.

              The resolution of four controversial topics in phylogenetic experimental design hinges upon the informativeness of characters about the historical relationships among taxa. These controversies regard the power of different classes of phylogenetic character, the relative utility of increased taxonomic versus character sampling, the differentiation between lack of phylogenetic signal and a historical rapid radiation, and the design of taxonomically broad phylogenetic studies optimized by taxonomically sparse genome-scale data. Quantification of the informativeness of characters for resolution of phylogenetic hypotheses during specified historical epochs is key to the resolution of these controversies. Here, such a measure of phylogenetic informativeness is formulated. The optimal rate of evolution of a character to resolve a dated four-taxon polytomy is derived. By scaling the asymptotic informativeness of a character evolving at a nonoptimal rate by the derived asymptotic optimum, and by normalizing so that net phylogenetic informativeness is equivalent for all rates when integrated across all of history, an informativeness profile across history is derived. Calculation of the informativeness per base pair allows estimation of the cost-effectiveness of character sampling. Calculation of the informativeness per million years allows comparison across historical radiations of the utility of a gene for the inference of rapid adaptive radiation. The theory is applied to profile the phylogenetic informativeness of the genes BRCA1, RAG1, GHR, and c-myc from a muroid rodent sequence data set. Bounded integrations of the phylogenetic profile of these genes over four epochs comprising the diversifications of the muroid rodents, the mammals, the lobe-limbed vertebrates, and the early metazoans demonstrate the differential power of these genes to resolve the branching order among ancestral lineages. This measure of phylogenetic informativeness yields a new kind of information for evaluation of phylogenetic experiments. It conveys the utility of the addition of characters a phylogenetic study and it provides a basis for deciding whether appropriate phylogenetic power has been applied to a polytomy that is proposed to be a rapid radiation. Moreover, it provides a quantitative measure of the capacity of a gene to resolve soft polytomies.

                Author and article information

                Persoonia : Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi
                Naturalis Biodiversity Center & Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute
                14 September 2017
                December 2017
                : 39
                : 201-253
                [1 ] Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1066, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway;
                Author notes
                corresponding author e-mail: inger.skrede@ 123456ibv.uio.no .
                © 2017 Naturalis Biodiversity Center & Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute

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                Research Article

                Plant science & Botany

                molecular phylogeny, pezizales, systematics


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