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Lee, Gaik Ee; Bechteler, Julia; Pócs, Tamás; Schäfer-Verwimp, Alfons and Heinrichs, Jochen (2016): Molecular and morphological evidence for an intercontinental range of the liverwort Lejeunea pulchriflora (Marchantiophyta: Lejeuneaceae). In: Organisms Diversity & Evolution, Vol. 16, No. 1: pp. 13-21

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Examination of type specimens and additional vouchers has revealed that the African Taxilejeunea pulchriflora and the tropical Asian Lejeunea propagulifera and Lejeunea tamaspocsii show considerable morphological overlap;however, morphological similarity does not necessarily indicate genetic similarity. Thus, sequences of two chloroplast regions (trnL-trnF, rbcL) and the nuclear ribosomal ITS region were generated from accessions of these taxa from Tanzania, Ethiopia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Fiji Islands and integrated into an existing Lejeunea dataset. Phylogenetic analyses of the three-marker dataset resolved the three taxa in a robust monophyletic lineage and indicated relationships to Neotropical and Holarctic species. Based on the morphological similarities and the low molecular variation of the investigated accessions, we consider the three taxa as conspecific and propose two synonyms and a new combination, Lejeunea pulchriflora. Lejeunea pulchriflora is characterized by its asymmetrical leaf lobes, small, distant underleaves, toothed perianth keels, and autoicy and ranges from tropical Africa to the Pacific region.

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