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Complete genomic congruence but non-monophyly of Cymodocea (Cymodoceaceae), a small group of seagrasses

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The Cymodoceaceae is a small family of five genera (Amphibolis, Cymodocea, Halodule, Syringodium, Thalassodendron) that are easily recognizable when reproductive organs are present. To test monophyly of the five genera and clarify relationships among them, a phylogenetic analysis was conducted on data from two plastid genes and four mitochondrial genes. Most extraordinarily, the two genomic data partitions are completely congruent with an incongruence length difference of zero. However, the molecular data show that Cymodocea is non-monophyletic. The taxonomic consequences will be either to split Cymodocea into two genera, to merge all genera except Halodule, or to merge Syringodium with one or two species of Cymodocea. Though monophyly of Cymodocea is strongly contradicted, the necessary taxonomic changes should not be made until a more strongly supported resolution of some relationships has been attained, and a few critical species have been added to the phylogeny.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12705/631.2

Affiliations: 1: Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Sølvgade 83, opg. S, 1307 Copenhagen K, Denmark;, Email: gittep@snm.ku.dk 2: Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Sølvgade 83, opg. S, 1307 Copenhagen K, Denmark 3: Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, 85 Adams Point Road, Durham, New Hampshire 03824, U.S.A. 4: Marine Science Institute CS, University of the Philippines, Diliman 1101, Quezon City, The Philippines

Publication date: February 20, 2014

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