Systematics Section / ASPT
McGuire, Avery F. , Kron, Kathleen A. .
Phylogenetic relationships within Rhododendron subsection Pentanthera.
Rhododendron subsection Pentanthera (Rhodoreae, Ericoideae, Ericaceae) comprises a group of highly ornamental plants, commonly called deciduous "azaleas." Thirteen of the fifteen species placed in this subsection are indigenous to North America. The center of diversity is located in the southeastern United States and one species is indigenous to the Caucasus region (R. luteum). Phylogenetic relationships among members of this subsection were investigated in order to determine whether molecular data would support the relationships found by the most recent morphological analysis. Four regions of DNA, one from the nuclear genome (nrITS) and three from the chloroplast (matK, ndhF, and the trnS-G intergenic spacer region), were selected as sources of molecular data because of their previously demonstrated utility within the Ericaceae. Pentanthera species are closely related and the chloroplast genes offered very few informative characters. The combined data was used to conduct a parsimony analysis and the results indicate that R. luteum is sister to a well-supported clade of the remaining members of Pentanthera.
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1 - Wake Forest University, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 7325, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27109, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Date: Monday, August 15th, 2005
Time: 3:45 PM