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Detecting morphological convergence in true fungi, using 18S rRNA gene sequence data

, : Detecting morphological convergence in true fungi, using 18S rRNA gene sequence data. Bio Systems 28(1-3): 117-125

For the true fungi, phylogenetic relationships inferred from 18S ribosomal DNA sequence data agree with morphology when (1) the fungi exhibit diagnostic morphological characters, (2) the sequence-based phylogenetic groups are statistically supported, and (3) the ribosomal DNA evolves at roughly the same rate in the lineages being compared. 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequence data and biochemical data provide a congruent definition of true fungi. Sequence data support the traditional fungal subdivisions Ascomycotina and Basidiomycotina. In conflict with morphology, some zygomycetes group with chytrid water molds rather than with other terrestrial fungi, possibly owing to unequal rates of nucleotide substitutions among zygomycete lineages. Within the ascomycetes, the taxonomic consequence of simple or reduced morphology has been a proliferation of mutually incongruent classification systems. Sequence data provide plausible resolution of relationships for some cases where reduced morphology has created confusion. For example, phylogenetic trees from rDNA indicate that those morphologically simple ascomycetes classified as yeasts are polyphyletic and that forcible spore discharge was lost convergently from three lineages of ascomycetes producing flask-like fruiting bodies.


PMID: 1292657

DOI: 10.1016/0303-2647(92)90014-p

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