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Dividing and conquering the fastest-growing genus: Towards a natural sectional classification of the mega-diverse genus Begonia (Begoniaceae)

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The pantropical genus Begonia is the sixth-largest genus of flowering plants, including 1870 species. The sections of Begonia are used frequently as analogues to genera in other families but, despite their taxonomic utility, few of the current sections have been examined in the light of molecular phylogenetic analyses. We present herein the largest, most representative phylogeny of Begonia published to date and a subsequent provisional sectional classification of the genus. We utilised three plastid markers for 574 species and 809 accessions of Begonia and used Hillebrandia as an outgroup to produce a dated phylogeny. The relationships between some species and sections are poorly resolved, but many sections and deeper nodes receive strong support. We recognise 70 sections of Begonia including 5 new sections: Astrothrix, Ephemera, Jackia, Kollmannia, and Stellandrae; 4 sections are reinstated from synonymy: Australes, Exalabegonia, Latistigma and Pereira; and 5 sections are newly synonymised. The new sectional classification is discussed with reference to identifying characters and previous classifications.
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Keywords: BEGONIA; DATING; PHYLOGENETICS; SECTIONAL CLASSIFICATION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR, U.K., Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, U.K.;, Email: [email protected] 2: Bogor Botanic Gardens, Jl. Ir. Juanda No. 13, Bogor, Indonesia 3: Facultad de Ciencias Agrícolas, Universidad Autónoma Gabriel Rene Moreno, Km 9 al norte, El Vallecitio, Santa Cruz, Bolivia 4: Research Museum and Herbarium (HAST), Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan 5: Department of Natural Sciences, University of Wisconsin – Superior, Superior, Wisconsin 54880, U.S.A. 6: Herbarium Bogoriense, Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Jl. Raya Jakarta-Bogor Km 46, Cibinong, 16911, Bogor, West Java, Indonesia 7: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR, U.K. 8: Jardín Botánico de Bogotá "José Celestino Mutis", Bogotá D.C., Colombia 9: Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong, Selagnor, Malaysia 10: School of Forestry and Resource Conservation, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan 11: Guangxi Institute of Botany, Guangxi Zhuangzu Autonomous Region and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guilin 541006, China 12: Department of Botany, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka 13: Herbario QCA, Escuela de Ciencas Biológicas, Pontifica Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Apartado 17-01-2184, Quito, Ecuador 14: Faculty of Environment and Resource studies, Mahidol University (Salaya campus), Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand 15: Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal 16: Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad Nacional Agraria-La Molina, Avenida La Universidad, Apartado 456, Lima 12, Perú 17: University of the Philippines Manila, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Padre Faura, Manila, Philippines 18: Botanical Research Centre, Sarawak Forestry, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia 19: Jardin Botanique de Lyon, Mairie de Lyon, 69205 Lyon cedex 01, France 20: Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, Yunnan, China 21: Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, California University of Pennsylvania, California, Pennsylvania 15419-1394, U.S.A. 22: Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569, Singapore, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China 23: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR, U.K., Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, U.K. 24: Leiden University, 2311 EZ Leiden, Netherlands

Publication date: 01 May 2018

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