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, 87 (8), 335-42

Phylogeny of Filamentous Ascomycetes


Phylogeny of Filamentous Ascomycetes

H T Lumbsch. Naturwissenschaften.


Phylogenetic studies of higher ascomycetes are enhanced by the introduction of molecular markers. Most studies employed sequences of the SSU rRNA gene, but recently data from additional genes (RPB2, LSU rRNA) have become available. Several groups defined by their ascoma-type, such as Pyrenomycetes, are supported while others, like the Discomycetes, appear to be paraphyletic. The Pezizales with operculate asci are basal to other eu-ascomycetes, while other Discomycetes appear to be derived eu-ascomycetes. The reevaluation of classical characters using molecular data is discussed using three examples. Ascus types are often regarded as being of major importance in ascomycete systematics, but prototunicate asci were found to be of poor taxonomic value, since ascomycetes with prototunicate asci are polyphyletic. The independence of the Agyriales, assumed from their morphological characters, is supported by sequence data but the relationship to supposed sister groups remains dubious. The phylogeny of ascolocularous fungi and their circumscription requires further study. While a circumscription based on bitunicate asci can be rejected, it remains unclear whether fungi with ascolocularous ascoma development represent a monophyletic entity.

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