Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chirleja buckii, a new genus and species

Recently I co-authored a paper describing a new genus and species from Tierra del Fuego in southern South America. The new genus is Chirleja, named after the local word for lichen/moss in the particular part of the world where it was found. The species is C. buckii, named after Bill Buck, who found it on an NSF-funded expedition. It was published in the New Zealand Journal of Botany, the premiere journal for botany in the southern hemisphere.

Chirleja buckii (scale = 0.5 mm)

We used molecular data from the mtSSU locus to infer the placement of the species in the family Icmadophilaceae, and we could also tell from these analyses that it did not fit within any of the described genera in the family. Many other sterile crustose lichens like this one represent new lineages of fungi that have not previously been described. Our research into crustose lichens is therefore helping to fill in unknown parts of the fungal tree of life and better illuminating the evolutionary history of the fungi.

- Brendan



Lendemer, J. C., and B. P. Hodkinson. 2012. Chirleja buckii, a new genus and species of lichenized fungi from Tierra del Fuego, southern South America. New Zealand Journal of Botany 50(4): 449-456.
Download publication (PDF file)
View data and analysis files (website)

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