Linking morphological and molecular sources to disentangle the case of Xylodon australis


The use of different sources of evidence has been recommended in order to conduct species delimitation analyses to solve taxonomic issues. In this study, we use a maximum likelihood framework to combine morphological and molecular traits to study the case of Xylodon australis (Hymenochaetales, Basidiomycota) using the locate.yeti function from the phytools R package. Xylodon australis has been considered a single species distributed across Australia, New Zealand and Patagonia. Multi-locus p.hylogenetic analyses were conducted to unmask the actual diversity under X. australis as well as the kinship relations respect their relatives. To assess the taxonomic position of each clade, locate.yeti function was used to locate in a molecular phylogeny the X. australis type material for which no molecular data was available using morphological continuous traits. Two different species were distinguished under the X. australis name, one from Australia–New Zealand and other from Patagonia. In addition, a close relationship with Xylodon lenis, a species from the South East of Asia, was confirmed for the Patagonian clade. We discuss the implications of our results for the biogeographical history of this genus and we evaluate the potential of this method to be used with historical collections for which molecular data is not available.

In Scientific Reports