J Syst Evol

• Research Articles •    

Unravelling evolutionary relationships between epifoliar Meliolaceae and angiosperms

Xiang‐Yu Zeng1,2,3 , Rajesh Jeewon4 , Sinang Hongsanan3,5, Kevin D. Hyde3,6, and Ting‐Chi Wen1,2*   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Green Pesticide and Agricultural Bioengineering, Key Laboratory of Green Pesticide and Agricultural Bioengineering, Ministry of Education, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China
    2 The Engineering Research Center of Southwest Bio‐Pharmaceutical Resource, Ministry of Education, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China
    3 Center of Excellence in Fungal Research, and School of Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand
    4 Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Reduit 80837, Mauritius
    5 Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Microbial Genetic Engineering, College of Life Sciences and Oceanography, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
    6 Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
  • Received:2020-01-07 Accepted:2020-05-28 Online:2020-06-01

Abstract:

Epifoliar fungi are a group of poorly studied fungal symbionts that coinhabit the surface of living plants. Meliolaceae is the largest group of epifoliar fungi and has been considered as obligate parasites. We investigated the taxonomy of Meliolaceae and the coevolutionary events with their host plants using time‐calibrated cophylogeny based on large subunit, small subunit, and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence data obtained from 17 different fungal taxa and rbcL , ITS, and trnH‐psbA sequence data from their corresponding hosts. Nine new fungal species are introduced in this paper and Appendiculella is synonymized under Asteridiella . The dominant coevolutionary events during the Cretaceous and Cenozoic are cospeciation and host shift, respectively. We hypothesize that the evolutionary history of epifoliar fungi can be divided into three major periods: origins of families, formations of genera, and diversification of species. The rise of angiosperms prompted the evolution of modern epifoliar fungi and the diversification of orders of Angiospermae fostered the formation of epifoliar fungal genera. Phylogenetically, epifoliar fungal genera can be delimited according to their coevolutionary patterns and divergent periods.

Key words: codivergence, cophylogeny, dating, Meliolales, new taxa, Sordariomycetes