Cneorum (Rutaceae) in Cuba? The solution to a 150 year old mystery

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Abstract:

Cneorum trimerum (Urban) Chodat is only known from the type specimen collected in 1861 in eastern Cuba. The species has sometimes been regarded as a synonym of C. tricoccon L., which is otherwise confined to the Mediterranean. As no other Cneorum specimens are known from Cuba, the specimen is a mysterious finding with a disputed taxonomic rank. The goal of this study is to clarify the status of the Cuban specimen using molecular and wood anatomical data. We succeeded in extracting DNA out of the 150 year old type specimen in our ancient-DNA lab and amplified two chloroplast markers (atpB, trnL-trnF) and one nuclear marker (ITS). Comparison of the sequence data with several sequences from C. tricoccon clearly suggests inclusion of the Cuban specimen into the latter species; wood anatomical features confirm the molecular results. The transatlantic distribution of C. tricoccon is probably the result of an introduction in Cuba by humans.

Keywords: ANCIENT DNA; CNEORUM; CUBA; RUTACEAE; TRANSATLANTIC DISTRIBUTION; WOOD ANATOMY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis (section NHN), Leiden University, P.O. Box 9514, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands, Hortus botanicus Leiden, P.O. Box 9516, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands;, Email: appelhans@hortus.leidenuniv.nl 2: Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis (section NHN), Leiden University, P.O. Box 9514, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands 3: Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis (section NHN), Leiden University, P.O. Box 9514, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands, Hortus botanicus Leiden, P.O. Box 9516, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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