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A Molecular and Morphological Phylogenetic Study of Subtribe Bletiinae (Epidendreae, Orchidaceae)

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Subtribe Bletiinae (Epidendreae, Orchidaceae) is comprised of three neotropical, terrestrial, deciduous genera: Basiphyllaea, Bletia and Hexalectris. Basiphyllaea and Bletia are chlorophyllous, while Hexalectris is mycoheterotrophic. Morphological, molecular (ITS and trnL-F IGS DNA sequences) and combined phylogenetic analyses of subtribe Bletiinae were done to estimate the relationships of the genera and species. The best supported hypothesis of relationships was retrieved from the ITS analysis, which included more taxa than the combined analyses and had more phylogenetically informative characters. Basiphyllaea and Hexalectris are closely related and further studies are recommended to clarify the limits of these genera. In subtribe Blettiinae achlorophyllous plants are derived from chlorophyllous plants and plicate leaves are derived from conduplicate leaves. With regard to stems, coralloid stems were derived from tuberoid stems with small shoots.
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Keywords: BASIPHYLLAEA; BLETIA; CRYBE; HEXALECTRIS; MYCOHETEROTROPHIC

Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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