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The royal irises (Iris subg. Iris sect. Oncocyclus): Plastid and low-copy nuclear data contribute to an understanding of their phylogenetic relationships

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Iris sect. Oncocyclus species generally occur in small populations or locally scattered over rocky hillsides, steppes, and deserts from the north Caucasus to the eastern Mediterranean. Species of this section are easily recognized by their inflorescences of a single, large, spherical flower and sepals with a dark signal spot and adjacent beard of multicellular hairs. We present here results of the first phylogenetic study of sect. Oncocyclus based on one low-copy nuclear and six plastid markers from 33 of approximately 42 species and infraspecific taxa. Gene trees are congruent and nuclear markers are more potentially parsimony informative than plastid markers. We identify clades that do not correspond to previously described species groups based on size, color, and shape of perianth parts and show that hypotheses of species monophyly are not supported. In general, diversification is greatest along terminal branches suggesting that species diversified in isolation. The Caucasus is suggested as the ancestral area for sect. Oncocyclus and the eastern Mediterranean as an important area of diversification.
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Keywords: BIOGEOGRAPHY; CAUCASUS; IRIS; MEDITERRANEAN; ONCOCYCLUS; PHYLOGENETICS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-2465, U.S.A.;, Email: [email protected] 2: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, 1500 North College Avenue, Claremont, California 91711-3157, U.S.A. 3: The Botanical Garden, Department of Molecular Biology and Ecology of Plants, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

Publication date: 08 March 2016

This article was made available online on 19 February 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "The royal irises (<i>Iris</i> subg. <i>Iris</i> sect. <i>Oncocyclus</i>): Plastid and low-copy nuclear data contribute to an understanding of their ".

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