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Testing species limits in Rennellia (Prismatomerideae, Rubioideae, Rubiaceae)

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Previous studies of Rennellia, Gentingia, Motleya and Prismatomeris resulted in conflicting classifications. This first phylogenetic analysis of these genera, based on morphological data, supports their separation from Morindeae s.str. as members of Prismatomerideae. Transfer of Prismatomeris subsessilis King & Gamble to Gentingia subsessilis (King & Gamble) J.T. Johansson & K.M. Wong is supported. Monotypic Motleya is nested in the Prismatomeris clade. Rennellia paniculata King & Gamble var. paniculata K.M. Wong and R. paniculata King & Gamble var. condensa K.M. Wong are monophyletic. There is no support for Rennellia morindiformis (sensu Johansson) or R. elliptica (sensu Johansson). Rennellia sp. (Fraser's Hill) is possibly conspecific with R. morindiformis (Korth.) Ridl., and R. borneensis (Baillon) Ridl. and R. elongata (King & Gamble) Ridl. with R. elliptica Korth. The relationships of Rennellia microcephala (Ridl.) K.M. Wong and R. amoena (Bremekamp) J.T. Johansson are poorly resolved. Complete resolution was not obtained probably due to a lack of good quality collections, particularly of Rennellia. The pressing priority is for fieldwork to obtain high quality specimens to allow molecular studies and comprehensive morphological investigation, to further test species limits and resolve relationships within and among these genera.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Botany-Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351, Australia

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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