Phylogenetic relationships among genera of Massonieae (Hyacinthaceae) inferred from plastid DNA and seed morphology

Pfosser, M.; Wetschnig, W.; Ungar, S.; Prenner, G.
April 2003
Journal of Plant Research;Apr2003, Vol. 116 Issue 2, p115
Academic Journal
The tribe Massonieae Baker (Hyacinthaceae-Hyacinthoideae) presently consists of about 19 genera and 230 species distributed from Africa (south of the Sahara) to Madagascar and India. Based on atpB and trnL-F DNA sequences the tribe is monophyletic only when the genus Pseudoprospero is excluded from Massonieae. In most trnL-F trees, this genus occupies a basal position within subfamily Hyacinthoideae and is sister to the rest of the subfamily. Molecular data suggest that the remaining genera of Massonieae do not share common ancestry with the Eurasian/North-African tribe Hyacintheae Dumort. (Scilla, Hyacinthus and allies), and thus a narrow concept of the essentially Eurasian genus Scilla is supported. Members of well-supported clades in Massonieae usually show similarities in seed characteristics as determined by scanning electron microscopy. Phylogenetic position and seed morphology indicate that Massonia angustifolia and M. zeyheri do not belong to the genus Massonia but fall into a clade together with Daubenya, Androsiphon and Amphisiphon. The genus Whiteheadia appears paraphyletic in the 50% majority rule trnL-F tree and occupies a basal position next to Massonia. However, in the strict consensus tree neither monophyly nor polyphyly can be excluded for this genus. Seed appendages are documented for members of the genera Ledebouria and Lachenalia. Within the genera of Massonieae there is a tendency towards bending of the seed axis. This phenomenon is most obvious within the genus Lachenalia. Delimitation of genera based on seed morphology largely agrees with the results of molecular studies. Correlation between number, size and color of seeds, geographical distribution and phylogenetic position of the genera are discussed.


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