Evolutionary patterns in neotropical Helieae (Gentianaceae): evidence from morphology, chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences

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Abstract:

Parsimony-based phylogenetic analyses of the neotropical tribe Helieae (Gentianaceae) are presented, including 22 of the 23 genera and 60 species. This study is based on data from morphology, palynology, and seed micromorphology (127 structural characters), and DNA sequences (matK, trnL intron, ITS). Phylogenetic reconstructions based on ITS and morphology provided the greatest resolution, morphological data further helping to tentatively place several taxa for which DNA was not available (Celiantha, Lagenanthus, Rogersonanthus, Roraimaea, Senaea, Sipapoantha, Zonanthus). Celiantha, Prepusa and Senaea together appear as the sister clade to the rest of Helieae. The remainder of Helieae is largely divided into two large subclades, the Macrocarpaea subclade and the Symbolanthus subclade. The first subclade includes Macrocarpaea, sister to Chorisepalum, Tachia, and Zonanthus. Irlbachia and Neblinantha are placed as sisters to the Symbolanthus subclade, which includes Aripuana, Calolisianthus, Chelonanthus, Helia, Lagenanthus, Lehmanniella, Purdieanthus, Rogersonanthus, Roraimaea, Sipapoantha, and Symbolanthus. Generic-level polyphyly is detected in Chelonanthus and Irlbachia. Evolution of morphological characters is discussed, and new pollen and seed characters are evaluated for the first time in a combined morphological-molecular phylogenetic analysis.

Keywords: EVOLUTION; GENTIANACEAE; GENTIANALES; HELIEAE; MOLECULAR SYSTEMATICS; MORPHOLOGY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, 109 Cooke Hall, University at Buffalo (SUNY), Buffalo, New York 14260, U.S.A. 2: Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, travessa 14, nº 321, CEP: 05508-090, São Paulo, SP, Brazil 3: Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, U.S.A. 4: Department of Biology, Western Carolina University, 132 Natural Science Building, Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723, U.S.A. 5: Laboratoire de botanique évolutive, Institut de botanique, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Neuchâtel, rue Émile-Argand 11, Case Postale 158, 2009 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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