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Phylogeny and systematics of Lithodora (Boraginaceae—Lithospermeae) and its affinities to the monotypic genera Mairetis, Halacsya and Paramoltkia based on ITS1 and trnLUAA-sequence data and morphology

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Lithodora (Boraginaceae tribe Lithospermeae) comprises nine species of often narrowly endemic dwarf shrubs and shrubs. The genus shows a Mediterranean distribution with the centre of diversity in the western Mediterranean region. Lithodora is distinguished from its allies in Lithospermeae by a shrubby habit, the absence of both faucal scales and an annulus, and a very unusual mericarpid morphology, and it has therefore been regarded as a natural group in the past. Phylogenetic relationships of Lithodora were investigated with nuclear ribosomal ITS1 and chloroplast trnLUAA intron sequences using parsimony and likelihood analyses. The results strongly indicate a polyphyly of Lithodora, which falls into two clades: The majority of species forms a monophyletic group ("Lithodora II") in a well supported clade together with a Lithospermum s.l. clade (including the New World genera Onosmodium and Macromeria) and our sample of Buglossoides species. A smaller number of species ("Lithodora I") falls into a second well supported clade including the monotypic genera Mairetis, Paramoltkia and Halacsya. A critical reevaluation of carpological characters traditionally used to delimit Lithodora corroborates the results of the molecular analysis and indicates that the cupulate areole and the mericarpid appendage found in the genus are homoplasious. The polyphyly of Lithodora is formally recognised by removing "Lithodora II" as a newly established genus, Glandora. The seven newly required combinations in the genus are provided.
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Keywords: GLANDORA GEN. NOV; ITS1; LITHODORA; MEDITERRANEAN; PHYLOGENY; TRNLUAA INTRON

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, UK; Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Biologie – Systematische Botanik und Pflanzengeographie, Altensteinstr. 6, 14195 Berlin, Germany 2: Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Biologie – Systematische Botanik und Pflanzengeographie, Altensteinstr. 6, 14195 Berlin, Germany

Publication date: 01 February 2008

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