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Chiangiodendron (Achariaceae): an example of the Laurasian flora of tropical forests of Central America

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Abstract:

Using plastid rbcL DNA sequences, we evaluated relationships of the monotypic genus Chiangiodendron (C. mexicanum), which has been thought to be the only New World member of Flacourtiaceae, tribe Pangieae, by some authors. The analysis consisted of two steps. In the first, we analyzed the rbcL sequence of Chiangiodendron in a large eudicot matrix (more than 500 representatives). Based on these results, a second, restricted analysis with 142 taxa was conducted. Chiangiodendron belongs to tribe Pangieae (which is now recognized as part of Achariaceae, whereas the rest of former Flacourtiaceae fall into Salicaceae s.l.), making Chiangiodendron the only American representative of that tribe. Its closest relatives are from Asia. Chiangiodendron is a relict of a wet-tropical Laurasian flora that has been preserved in Neotropical refugia.

Keywords: ACHARIACEAE; CHIANGIODENDRON; FLACOURTIACEAE; PLEISTOCENE REFUGE THEORY; RBCL SEQUENCES

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Instituto de Ecologia, A.C., Apartado Postal 63, 91000 Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico 2: Molecular Systematics Section, Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3DS, U.K.

Publication date: 2003-08-01

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