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On the phylogenetic position and taxonomic value of Gagea trinervia (Viv.) Greuter and Gagea sect. Anthericoides A. Terracc. (Liliaceae)

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Gagea trinervia and G. graeca, both diploid (2n = 24), share several features that appear unusual in the genus: white flowers, relatively late flowering, and red bulb tunics. They are genetically rather close but can be distinguished with karyology and molecular markers (nrITS-region). They were indeed thought to be conspecific by many authors, however, exhibit major ontogenetic, morphological and anatomical differences which indicates a strongly divergent evolution. Gagea trinervia differs from G. graeca in having bulbils with stolon-like hypopodium, a regular sister bulbil at the immature stage, an unifacial, juvenile-like basal leaf to adult stage, few cauline leaves, few flowers and a low level of sexual reproduction. These two species make up Gagea sect. Anthericoides, the most early-branching clade of the genus, endemic to the Mediterranean. The closest species phylogenetically is Gagea serotina, that is referred to the separate section Lloydia (Salisb.) Peruzzi & al. comb. & stat. nov.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Unit of general and systematic botany, Pisa University, via L. Ghini 5, 56126 Pisa, Italy;, Email: 2: 14, Promenade des Baldaquins, L'Isle d'Abeau, France 3: Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Biozentrum, Weinbergweg 22, 06120 Halle/Saale, Germany 4: State Office for Environmental Protection of Saxony-Anhalt, Reideburger Str. 47, 06116 Halle/Saale, Germany

Publication date: 2008-11-01

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