Tidskrift: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volym: 48
Sidor: 74-84

Abstrakt: (på engelska)

Despite extensive efforts, parts of the phylogeny of the angiosperm family Rubiaceae has not been resolved and consequently, character evolution, ancestral areas and divergence times of major radiations are difficult to estimate. Here, phylogenetic analyses of 149 taxa and five plastid gene regions show that three enigmatic genera are sisters to considerably species rich clades. The rare and endangered species Dunnia, endemic to southern Guangdong, China, is sister to a large clade in the Spermacoceae alliance; the rarely collected Schizocolea from western tropical Africa is sister to the Psychotrieae alliance; and Colletoecema from central tropical Africa is sister to remaining Rubioideae. The morphology of these taxa has been considered ‘‘puzzling”. In combination with further morphological studies, our results may help understanding the apparently confusing traits of these plants. Phylogenetic, morphological, and geographical isolation of Dunnia, Schizocolea and Colletocema may indicate high genetic diversity. They are lone representatives of unique lineages and if extinct, the loss would not only mean loss of genetic diversity of a single species but of an entire lineage.