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Open Access Cucumis (Cucurbitaceae) must include Cucumella, Dicoelospermum, Mukia, Myrmecosicyos, and Oreosyce: a recircumscription based on nuclear and plastid DNA data

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Recent molecular studies have revealed that the genus Cucumis in its current circumscription is paraphyletic. To become monophyletic, Cucumis must include five genera of the subtribe cucumerinae, namely Cucumella, Dicoelospermum, Mukia, Myrmecosicyos, and Oreosyce, already regarded as closely related by earlier workers based on morphology. The 19 species in the five genera are here formally transferred to Cucumis, resulting in 14 new combinations, two changes in status, and three new names (Cucumis indicus, C. kirkbrideana, and C. oreosyce). A description of the genus and a key to its 52 species are given, and the subgenera and sections are recircumscribed to reflect monophyletic groups. Subgenus Humifructus, with a haploid chromosome number of 12, contains only C. humifructus and C. hirsutus, while subgenus Cucumis, with n = 12 or n = 7, contains the remainder of the species. The latter is further divided into the sections Aculeatosi, Cucumella, Cucumis, Metuliferi, and Sagittati.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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  • Blumea is an international journal on the biodiversity, evolution and biogeography of plants, including topics on systematics, floristics, phylogeny, morphology and anatomy. For floristic studies, the focus is on tropical Africa south of the Sahara, tropical Southeast Asia with a strong emphasis on Malesia, and South America with emphasis on the Guianas. Papers in Blumea are subjected to peer review and are in English. Blumea is published three times a year, comprising c. 300 pages in total.
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