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A phylogenetic analysis of the genus Colchicum L. (Colchicaceae) based on sequences from six plastid regions

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A phylogenetic analysis of the genus Colchicum (including Bulbocodium and Merendera) is presented. The phylogeny includes all but four of the 100 species and all subspecies currently recognized in the genus, two insufficiently known species (C. mirzoevae, C. stenopetalum), and one cultivated specimen (C. laetum hort.) probably of hybrid origin. The analysis is based on 292 parsimony-informative characters derived from nucleotide sequences from six plastid regions (trnL intron, trnL-trnF IGS, trnY-trnD IGS, trnH-psbA IGS, atpB-rbcL IGS, rps16 intron) and 33 morphological, life history, and chromosomal characters. The genus Colchicum is strongly supported as monophyletic. The morphological data are considerably more homoplasious than the molecular characters, but provide added resolution to the trees derived from a combined analysis. The phylogenetic hypothesis is largely in conflict with the subgenera and sections recognized by Stefanov, and agrees better with some of the informal species groups defined by Persson in earlier publications. Additional data will be needed to resolve all relationships.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Göteborg Botanical Garden, Carl Skottsbergs gata 22A, 41319 Göteborg, Sweden 2: Botanical Garden, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Sølvgade 83, Opg. S, 1307 Copenhagen K, Denmark 3: Marimurtra Botanic Garden, Carl Faust Fdn., P.O. Box 112, 17300 Blanes, Catalonia, Spain

Publication date: 2011-10-01

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