Senecio (Asteraceae: Senecioneae) is one of the largest genera of flowering plants and its infrageneric delimitation has been impeded by its large size (> 1000 species), large morphological variation and widespread incongruence between phylogenies derived from different datasets.
As part of efforts to improve our understanding of the evolutionary relationships among infrageneric Senecio groups, nuclear (nrITS, ETS) and plastid (psbA-trnH, trnL and trnL-F) DNA sequence data were used to study the delimitation of the Australasian
Lautusoid group of Senecio. These data were also used to understand the evolutionary origins of polyploid species that have been placed in this informally recognized group. The results of our phylogenetic analyses indicate that Australasian Senecio compose four separate and
distantly related lineages, which are here informally named the Disciform s.str., Lautusoid, Odoratus s.l., and Quadridentatus groups. A new delimitation of the Lautusoid group is presented that includes species previously placed in this group based on morphological similarities, as well as
some that were previously assigned to other informally recognized Senecio groups. This brings the total number of confirmed members of the Lautusoid group to 15 species. Six allopolyploid species were identified that resulted from hybridization between members of the Lautusoid group
and species of the three other Australasian Senecio lineages. Our findings indicate that hybridization has played an important role in the evolutionary diversification of Australasian Senecio and provide a framework for further studies into their evolutionary history.
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Document Type: Research Article
School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia
Environment and Animal Sciences, Unitec Institute of Technology, Private Bag 92025, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand;, Email: [email protected]
Publication date: 01 March 2018
This article was made available online on 12 February 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "The delimitation and evolutionary history of the Australasian Lautusoid group of Senecio (Asteraceae: Senecioneae)".
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