Background: Regions within the nuclear ribosomal operon are a major tool for inferring evolutionary relationships and investigating diversity in fungi. In spite of the prevalent use of ribosomal markers in fungal research, central features of nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) evolution are poorly characterized for fungi in general, including lichenized fungi. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the nrDNA has been adopted as the primary DNA barcode identification marker for fungi. However, little is known about intragenomic variation in the nrDNA in symbiotic fungi. In order to better understand evolution of nrDNA and the utility of the ITS region for barcode identification of lichen-forming fungal species, we generated nearly complete nuclear ribosomal operon sequences from nine species in the Rhizoplaca melanophthalma species complex using short reads from high-throughput sequencing. Results: We estimated copy numbers for the nrDNA operon, ranging from nine to 48 copies for members of this complex, and found low levels of intragenomic variation in the standard barcode region (ITS). Monophyly of currently described species in this complex was supported in phylogenetic inferences based on the ITS, 28S, intergenic spacer region, and some intronic regions, independently; however, a phylogenetic inference based on the 18S provided much lower resolution. Phylogenetic analysis of concatenated ITS and intergenic spacer sequence data generated from 496 specimens collected worldwide revealed previously unrecognized lineages in the nrDNA phylogeny. Conclusions: The results from our study support the general assumption that the ITS region of the nrDNA is an effective barcoding marker for fungi. For the R. melanophthalma group, the limited amount of potential intragenomic variability in the ITS region did not correspond to fixed diagnostic nucleotide position characters separating taxa within this species complex. Previously unrecognized lineages inferred from ITS sequence data may represent undescribed species-level lineages or reflect uncharacterized aspects of nrDNA evolution in the R. melanophthalma species complex.

Characterizing the ribosomal tandem repeat and its utility as a DNA barcode in lichen-forming fungi

Muggia L.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Background: Regions within the nuclear ribosomal operon are a major tool for inferring evolutionary relationships and investigating diversity in fungi. In spite of the prevalent use of ribosomal markers in fungal research, central features of nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) evolution are poorly characterized for fungi in general, including lichenized fungi. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the nrDNA has been adopted as the primary DNA barcode identification marker for fungi. However, little is known about intragenomic variation in the nrDNA in symbiotic fungi. In order to better understand evolution of nrDNA and the utility of the ITS region for barcode identification of lichen-forming fungal species, we generated nearly complete nuclear ribosomal operon sequences from nine species in the Rhizoplaca melanophthalma species complex using short reads from high-throughput sequencing. Results: We estimated copy numbers for the nrDNA operon, ranging from nine to 48 copies for members of this complex, and found low levels of intragenomic variation in the standard barcode region (ITS). Monophyly of currently described species in this complex was supported in phylogenetic inferences based on the ITS, 28S, intergenic spacer region, and some intronic regions, independently; however, a phylogenetic inference based on the 18S provided much lower resolution. Phylogenetic analysis of concatenated ITS and intergenic spacer sequence data generated from 496 specimens collected worldwide revealed previously unrecognized lineages in the nrDNA phylogeny. Conclusions: The results from our study support the general assumption that the ITS region of the nrDNA is an effective barcoding marker for fungi. For the R. melanophthalma group, the limited amount of potential intragenomic variability in the ITS region did not correspond to fixed diagnostic nucleotide position characters separating taxa within this species complex. Previously unrecognized lineages inferred from ITS sequence data may represent undescribed species-level lineages or reflect uncharacterized aspects of nrDNA evolution in the R. melanophthalma species complex.
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Descrizione: Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://doi.org/10. 1186/s12862-019-1571-4 .
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2961803
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