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Generic limits in Rhamnus L. s.l. (Rhamnaceae) inferred from nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequence phylogenies

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This study tested the monophyly of the previously proposed genera Alaternus, Frangula, Oreoherzogia, and Rhamnus s.str., and the phylogenetic relations suggested by Grubov (1949), within the Rhamnus s.l. clade.Based on a global sample of 22 species, we derived phylogenetic hypotheses using parsimony analysis of variation in trnL-F (chloroplast) and ITS (nuclear) DNA regions. Both Alaternus, Frangula, and Oreoherzogia gained strong support, and our results further support recognition of Frangula as a monophyletic genus. The resolution between Alaternus, Oreoherzogia, and the rest of Rhamnus s.str. was less clear, and the mainly Mediterranean Oreoherzogia was strongly grouped with the American R. crocea. Therefore, we consider it as unjustified to split the rest of Rhamnus into smaller genera. Regarding Grubov's phylogenetic hypothesis, our study could only support the dichotomy between Frangula and the rest of Rhamnus.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Botany, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden. 2: Department of Systematic Botany, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18 D, SE-752 36, Uppsala, Sweden.

Publication date: 01 May 2004

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