Friday, May 13, 2011

Punctelia eganii Hodkinson & Lendemer, sp. nov., a rare chemical oddity

Just today I had an article published in the journal Opuscula Philolichenum in which I, along with James Lendemer, describe a new species in the genus Punctelia that has only been found once and contains a chemical compound (lichexanthone) that has otherwise not been seen in this genus. The species was collected along the Alabama River in historic Monroe County, Alabama, near Monroeville (childhood home of Harper Lee and Truman Capote; "the literary capital of Alabama").

Under an ultraviolet light, it makes pin-pricks of bright light across the surface (due to the localized presence of lichexanthone). The species is named Punctelia eganii, after Dr. Bob Egan of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, who first collected the species and brought it to our attention. The paper ends with a discussion of 'chemotaxonomy' and the evolving views on the role of secondary chemistry in lichen taxonomy.

- Brendan


Hodkinson, B. P., and J. C. Lendemer. 2011. Punctelia eganii, a new species in the P. rudecta group with a novel secondary compound for the genus. Opuscula Philolichenum 9: 35-38.
Download publication (PDF file)

No comments:

Post a Comment