Towards a subordinal classification of the Pezizales (Ascomycota): phylogenetic analyses of SSU rDNA sequences.
Phylogenetic analyses of partial SSU rDNA sequences from representatives of 36 pezizales associated genera are presented, including new sequences from 28 species: Aleuria aurantiaca, Ascodesmis sphaerospora, Boudiera acanthospora, Caloscypha fulgens, Cheilymenia stercorea, Cookeina sulcipes, Desmazierella acicola, Geopyxis carbonaria, Hydnotrya tulasnei, Iodophanus carneus, Microstoma protracta, Otidea leporina, Paurocotylis pila, Peziza succosa and P vesiculosa (the type species of the family Pezizaceae and the order Pezizales), Pyronema domesticum, Pulvinula archeri, Saccobolus sp., Sarcoscypha austriaca, Sarcosoma globosum, Sarcosphaera coronaria, Scutellinia scutellata and S. torrentis, Sphaerosporella brunnea, Tarzetta catinus, Thelebolus crustaceus, Trichophaea hybrida, Trichophaeopsis bicuspis, and Wilcoxina mikolae. Two taxon and character matrices were subjected to maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and neighbor-joining analyses. The first matrix included 28 taxa and a full character set of 1600 bp, and the second matrix 37 taxa and a restricted set of 1053 characters. The analyses using the restricted character set generally yielded the same topology as the full character set but the resolution was reduced. Three main evolutionary lineages were detected within the order: (1) Pezizaceae and Ascobolaceae, (2) Helvellaceae, Morchellaceae, Tuberaceae, and Caloscypha (Otideaceae), and (3) Sarcoscyphaceae, Sarcosomataceae, Ascodes-midaceae, Glaziellaceae, Otideaceae and Pyronemataceae. The inferred subordinal grouping is compared to extant classification schemes of the Pezizales. Sarcosomataceae and Sarcoscyphaceae are recognized as separate monophyletic groups. The analyses did not support recognition of Pyronemataceae, Ascodesmida-ceae, and Glaziellaceae as separate from the Otideaceae. Thelebolus (Thelebolaceae) clusters with extra-pezizalean genera and does not belong to the order.