The genus Podaxis was first described from India by Linnaeus in 1771, but several revisions of the genus have left the taxonomy unclear. Forty-four Podaxis species names and nine intraspecific varieties are currently accepted, but most fungarium specimens are labelled Podaxis pistillaris. Recent molecular analyses based on barcoding genes suggest that the genus comprises several species, but their status is largely unresolved. Here we obtained basidiospores and photographs from 166 fungarium specimens from around the world and generated a phylogeny based on rDNA internal transcribed spacer ITS1, 5.8S and ITS2 (ITS), and a phylogenomic analysis of 3839 BUSCO genes from low-coverage genomes for a subset of the specimens. Combining phylogenetics, phylogenomics, morphology, ecology, and geographical distribution, spanning 250 years of collections, we propose that the genus includes at least 16 unambiguous species. Based on 10 type specimens (holotype, paratype, and syntype), four recorded species were confirmed, P. carcinomalis, P. deflersii, P. emerici, and P. farlowii. Comparing phylogenetic analysis with described species, including morphology, ecology, and distribution, we resurrected P. termitophilus and designated neotypes, epitypes, or lectotypes for five previously described species, P. aegyptiacus, P. africana, P. beringamensis, P. calyptratus, and P. perraldieri. Lastly, based on phylogenies and morphology of type material, we synonymized three reported species, P. algericus, P. arabicus, and P. rugospora with P. pistillaris, and described five new species that we named P. desolatus, P. inyoensis, P. mareebaensis, P. namaquensis, and P. namibensis.

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Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi

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Li, G.S., Leal-Dutra, C.A., Cuesta-Maté, A., Conlon, B.H., Peereboom, N., Beemelmanns, C., … Poulsen, M. (2023). Resolution of eleven reported and five novel Podaxis species based on ITS phylogeny, phylogenomics, morphology, ecology, and geographic distribution. Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi, 51(1), 257–279. doi:10.3767/persoonia.2023.51.07