The Lichenologist

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Massalongiaceae fam. nov., an overlooked monophyletic group among the cyanobacterial lichens (Peltigerales, Lecanoromycetes, Ascomycota)

Mats  WEDIN a1 , Per Magnus  JØRGENSEN a2 and Elisabeth  WIKLUND a3
a1 The Swedish Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 50007, SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden. Email:
a2 Bergen Museum, Bergen University, Allégaten 41, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
a3 Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Article author query
wedin m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
jorgensen p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
wiklund e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


In this investigation we utilized parsimony and Bayesian analyses of mtSSU and nuLSU rDNA sequence datasets to show that the lichenized ascomycete genera Leptochidium and Polychidium (formerly classified in Placynthiaceae) form a well-supported monophyletic group with Massalongia (Peltigerales, Lecanoromycetes, Ascomycota). This group is also supported by morphological characteristics (ascus type, ascoma ontogeny and anatomy), but does not have a formal name on any level. We describe it here as the family Massalongiaceae. Massalongiaceae is related to a group consisting of Peltigeraceae-Nephromataceae, and Lobariaceae, but the detailed relationships within this group are not resolved with convincing support.

(Published Online December 22 2006)
(Accepted August 18 2006)

Key Words: ascomycetes; classification; Lecanorales; lichens; new taxa; Peltigerales; phylogeny; systematics; taxonomy.