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Phylogenetic placement of the ectomycorrhizal genus Cenococcum in Gloniaceae (Dothideomycetes) Public Deposited

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  • Cenococcum is a genus of ectomycorrhizal Ascomycota that has a broad host range and geographic distribution. It is not known to produce either meiotic or mitotic spores and is known to exist only in the form of hyphae, sclerotia and host-colonized ectomycorrhizal root tips. Due to its lack of sexual and asexual spores and reproductive structures, it has proven difficult to incorporate into traditional classification within Ascomycota. Molecular phylogenetic studies of ribosomal RNA placed Cenococcum in Dothideomycetes, but the definitive identification of closely related taxa remained elusive. Here we report a phylogenetic analysis of five nuclear loci (SSU, LSU, TEF1, RPB1, RPB2) of Dothideomycetes that placed Cenococcum as a close relative of the genus Glonium of Gloniaceae (Pleosporomycetidae incertae sedis) with strong statistical support. Glonium is a genus of saprobic Dothideomycetes that produces darkly pigmented, carbonaceous, hysteriate apothecia and is not known to be biotrophic. Evolution of ectomycorhizae, Cenococcum and Dothideomycetes is discussed.
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  • Spatafora, J. W., Owensby, C. A., Douhan, G. W., Boehm, E. W. A., & Schoch, C. L. (2012, May/June). Phylogenetic placement of the ectomycorrhizal genus Cenococcum in Gloniaceae (Dothideomycetes). Mycologia, 104(3), 758 -765. doi:10.3852/11-233
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  • CLS acknowledges the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, National Library of Medicine. GWD acknowledges financial support of the Agricultural Experiment Station, University of California at Riverside. Research was financially supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DEB-0717476 to JWS).
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