An expanded phylogeny of Cuphea (Lythraceae) and a North American monophyly
Plant Systematics and Evolution
A phylogenetic analysis of the New World genus Cuphea was conducted employing sequences from the nuclear rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and chloroplast trnL-trnF spacer and rpl16 intron. The analysis expands the number of Cuphea species from 53 in an earlier ITS study to 70 and adds two chloroplast data sets in order to generate a more complete and robust phylogeny and to test a previous result that suggested the presence of a large North American clade. Results reaffirm the monophyly of Cuphea with Pleurophora as the sister genus and recover a basal divergence event that mirrors the two subgenera of the current classification. Phylogenies of the two chloroplast regions are largely unresolved beyond the initial dichotomy and some resolution at the terminal and subterminal nodes. Based on the ITS phylogeny, five major clades are recognized. Subgenus Cuphea (Clade 1), defined morphologically by the synapomorphic loss of bracteoles, is sister to the much larger subg. Bracteolatae (Clades 2-5). Clades 2-4, comprising the South American and Caribbean species, grade successively to Clade 5, an exclusively North American lineage of 29 species. Among the 12 sections included in the study, only section Trispermum, a subclade of Clade 4, is monophyletic. Section Pseudocircaea is nested within Clade 3, which is largely equivalent to section Euandra. The North American endemic clade includes four sections, of which none are recovered as monophyletic in this study.
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