Flakea papillata is a predominantly tropical, widespread lichen characterized by flake-like thalli of narrowly arranged, irregularly wrinkled, small bluish-green lobes, whose taxonomic position was unclear. The lichen shows superficial similarity with either algal colonies, bryophytes or fern prothallia, but the production of zeorin and other triterpenoids supports its inclusion in the ascomycetes. Analysis of the nuclear large and small subunits rRNA sequence data of samples from different origins supports the position of F. papillata within the Verrucariaceae: it forms its own supported clade not related to the core of Agonimia, in which it has been previously placed.
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Vol. 112 • No. 3