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Biatora akompsa is revealed as a disjunct North American species of Pentagenella (Opegraphaceae) through molecular phylogenetic analysis and phenotype-based binning
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Historical and recent material of Bacidia akompsa (basionym: Biatora akompsa) was studied to determine the taxonomic position of this crustose lichen, prompted by the appearance of the provisional name ‘‘Lecanactis akompsa (Tuck.) ined.’’ in multiple online lichen databases and checklists. Initial morphological assessment of verified material confirmed B. akompsa as a member of Arthoniales but distinct from Lecanactis by having epruinose ascomata with a thin exciple open below the hymenium; a pale, K/I+ violet to deep blue hypothecium; and ascospores with a gelatinous sheath. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of specimens recently collected near the type locality revealed B. akompsa to be nested within the genus Pentagenella in Opegraphaceae. The same placement was found using phenotype-based phylogenetic binning with 37 morphological, anatomical and chemical characters. The new combination Pentagenella akompsa is proposed and the species represents the first North American member of this genus, otherwise known only from Chile and Peru. Therefore, our results reveal the genus Pentagenella to have a remarkably disjunct distribution between North and South America. Several specimens previously labeled as Bacidia, Biatora, or Lecanactis akompsa were found to be misidentifications, narrowing the range of P. akompsa to coastal California, where it is found on two coastal conifer species that are (like P. akompsa itself) narrowly endemic and of conservation concern.
Number of pages: 15
Keywords:B300-phylogeny, B290-taxonomy, B290-morphology