Chromosomes of four species in three genera of Commelinaceae from China and their systematic implications
Chromosomes of four species in three genera of Commelinaceae from China were examined. Spatholirion longifolium had 2n = 20. This small genus is considered to be of a possible polyploid origin based on x = 5, a basic number shared by its closest ally, the monospecific genus Streptolirion, with its only species having 2n = 10. The two genera were found to be very different from each other in their karyotypic constitution. The differences in both chromosome number (2n = 20 vs. 10) and karyotypic constitution support their separation as two independent genera. The remaining three species, Amischotolype hispida, Porandra ramosa and P. scandens, all had 2n = 36. In view of the occasional occurrence of 2n = 18 in the African Coleotrype, a genus very close to Amischotolype and Porandra in gross morphology, these three species are all very probably polyploid based on x = 9. The high degree of karyotypic similarity of the three genera also strongly indicates their close affinity and supports their placement in the subtribe Coleotrypinae. © 2006 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2006, 152, 399–403.