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Towards resolving phylogenetic relationships in the Ficinia clade and description of the new genus Afroscirpoides (Cyperaceae: Cypereae)

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Cyperaceae is the third-largest family of monocotyledons and one of the 10 largest families of angiosperms. The family includes two subfamilies and several tribes, one of which, Cypereae, is the aim of the present study. Recent studies recognize the Ficinia clade, composed of six genera (Dracoscirpoides, Erioscirpus, Ficinia, Hellmuthia, Isolepis, Scirpoides), as more closely related to Cyperus (Cypereae) than to Scirpus (Scirpeae), where it was traditionally placed. In this study, phylogenetic analyses of the Ficinia clade have been carried out, based on sequences of two nrDNA loci (ITS, ETS1f) and three plastid loci (trnL intron, rps16, trnH-psbA) and with special attention to the smaller genera of the clade (i.e., Dracoscirpoides, Erioscirpus, Hellmuthia, Scirpoides). Results revealed a strong geographic pattern within Scirpoides, in which two groups are identified, one including the southern African and the other representing the northern hemisphere species. Dracoscirpoides and Erioscirpus are monophyletic genera while Hellmuthia formed a clade with Ficinia and Isolepis. One species of Scirpoides (S. dioeca) was outside the clade of Scirpoides s.str. in the analyses, and is here transferred to a new monospecific genus endemic to southern Africa: Afroscirpoides.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Plaza Ramón y Cajal s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain 2: Biological Sciences Department, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, Cape Town, South Africa 3: Real Jardín Botánico-CSIC, Plaza de Murillo 2, 28014 Madrid, Spain 4: Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Plaza Ramón y Cajal s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 28 August 2015

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