January 29 – April 30, 2001
Fak. VII, Institut für Ökologie
Technische Universität Berlin
As a part of her graduate study on the genus Hypotrachyna (lichenized Ascomycetes, Lecanorales), Celia Möbius visited the Pritzker Lab for three months. She collaborated with François Lutzoni (Botany) to gather molecular data from the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA to determine the position of Hypotrachyna within the phylogeny of the family Parmeliaceae and to examine the hypothesis of their monophyly.
The genus Hypotrachyna has its center of diversity in the Neotropics with many of the species occuring endemic in certain regions of South America. It is a mostly corticolous genus growing primarily in higher elevations with sufficient humidity.
Further studies will address the reconstruction of the phylogeny of Hypotrachyna based on the analysis of morphological, chemical and molecular data.
A recent revision on the neotropical species of the genus by Sipman, Elix and Nash using morphological and chemical data provided partly contradictory results concerning the delimitation of particular species and therefore revealed a need for additional data to determine the phylogenetic relevance of secondary metabolites and to develop a valid species concept within the genus.