Phylogeny and classification of Zygnematophyceae (Streptophyta): current state of affairs

Andrey A. Gontcharov
2008 Fottea  
Conjugates (Zygnematophyceae) represent the most species-rich (ca. 4000 spp) algal lineage within the Streptophyta. Studies using various molecular markers have placed the class as one of the crown groups in Streptophyta and even suggested a close relationship between the zygnematophycean algae and land plants. Phenotypic diversity complicates systematics of the class and the relationships between its taxa remain poorly understood. Molecular phylogenetic analyses have established a number of
more » ... shed a number of clades in the class and revealed a disagreement between the traditional taxonomic structure of Zygnematophyceae and the pattern of phylogenetic relationships between the class members. in this paper, an overview of recent advances in our understanding of the phylogeny and classification of conjugating green algae is presented, with emphasis on the major clades established in the class, the clades' structure and polyphyly of some genera. We describe the areas of conflict and agreement between molecular phylogeny and traditional morphology-based taxonomy and stress that phenotypic characters provide little evidence for inferring relationships between taxa even at low taxonomic levels.
doi:10.5507/fot.2008.004 fatcat:qtxwwwvnwbd43nli76rlsfeqky