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Reassignment of Six Polyalthia Species to the New Genus Maasia (Annonaceae): Molecular and Morphological Congruence

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Recently published molecular phylogenies of the Annonaceae have confirmed the long-held hypothesis that the large paleotropical genus Polyalthia is polyphyletic. Species previously assigned to Polyalthia are now known to belong to up to six distinct, generally well-supported clades. Three members of a group of six species previously referred to as the Polyalthia hypoleuca complex form a monophyletic group (with 99% bootstrap support) that is only distantly related to the other species of Polyalthia sampled. Putative morphological synapomorphies are assessed, and justification provided for validating a new generic name, Maasia. Six species names in the Polyalthia hypoleuca complex are accordingly transferred to Maasia: M. discolor, M. glauca, M. hypoleuca, M. multinervis, M. ovalifolia, and M. sumatrana.


Document Type: Regular Paper


Publication date: July 1, 2008

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