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Molecular Phylogenetic Relationships and Morphological Evolution within the Tribe Phyllodoceae (Ericoideae, Ericaceae)

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The tribe Phyllodoceae is comprised of seven genera (Bejaria, Elliottia, Epigaea, Kalmia, Kalmiopsis, Phyllodoce, and Rhodothamnus). A clade within this tribe, comprised of all genera except Bejaria, was the subject of a phylogenetic study using six molecular markers. The goal of the study was to reconstruct a species-level phylogeny for the purpose of examining the evolution of morphological characters and to provide a framework for future studies in historical biogeography. Twenty-nine of 31 Phyllodoceae species were included in the molecular dataset of sequences from four plastid and two nuclear regions, and the remaining two species were included in a small morphological analysis. Most nodes were strongly supported using combined molecular data and four analytical approaches. Potential morphological synapomorphies were identified for some clades within the group. Evolutionary patterns in some morphological characters are apparent, which provide a basis for future anatomical and developmental studies.
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Keywords: Bayesian; biogeography; likelihood; molecular data; morphological data; phylogeny reconstruction

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 12, 2013

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