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Untangling phylogenetic patterns and taxonomic confusion in tribe Caryophylleae (Caryophyllaceae) with special focus on generic boundaries

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Assigning correct names to taxa is a challenging goal in the taxonomy of many groups within the Caryophyllaceae. This challenge is most serious in tribe Caryophylleae since the supposed genera seem to be highly artificial, and the available morphological evidence cannot effectively be used for delimitation and exact determination of taxa. The main goal of the present study was to re-assess the monophyly of the genera currently recognized in this tribe using molecular phylogenetic data. We used the sequences of nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and the chloroplast gene rps16 for 135 and 94 accessions, respectively, representing all 16 genera currently recognized in the tribe Caryophylleae, with a rich sampling of Gypsophila as one of the most heterogeneous groups in the tribe. Phylogenetic trees were reconstructed using maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference methods. The results show that most of the large genera of Caryophylleae are not monophyletic. As a result, we propose a new classification system matching both molecular phylogenetic and morphological evidence. The main taxonomic conclusions include: (1) the description of three new genera, (2) treating five small genera as synonyms, (3) resurrecting the genus Heterochroa with six species, and (4) proposing 23 new combinations plus 2 replacement names at the specific level. As a result, we recognize 14 genera in Caryophylleae. A diagnostic key to all genera of Caryophylleae is provided.
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Keywords: CARNATION; DIANTHUS; GYPSOPHILA; SAPONARIA; SYSTEMATICS; TAXONOMIC REVISION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant Science, Center of Excellence in Phylogeny of Living Organisms, School of Biology, College of Science, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 14155-6455, Tehran, Iran 2: University of Michigan Herbarium-EEB, 3600 Varsity Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108-2228, U.S.A. 3: Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, P.O. Box 91775-1436, Mashhad, Iran 4: Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Box 461, 40530 Göteborg, Sweden 5: Biodiversity Research – Systematic Botany, Department of Biology I, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Menzinger Str. 67, 80638 München, Germany; and GeoBio Center LMU 6: Department of Plant Science, Center of Excellence in Phylogeny of Living Organisms, School of Biology, College of Science, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 14155-6455, Tehran, Iran;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 March 2018

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