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Systematics Section / ASPT

Islam, Melissa B. [1], Simmons, Mark P. [1], Archer, Robert H. [2].

Phylogeny of the Elaeodendron group (Celastraceae) inferred from morphological characters together with nuclear and plastid genes.

The phylogeny of the Elaeodendron group was inferred in a simultaneous analysis of morphological characters together with nuclear (ITS and 26S rDNA) and plastid (trnL-F spacer) genes. The circumscription of genera in this group has long been controversial, particularly with respect to Cassine and Elaeodendron. Cassine, narrowly defined so as to include three species native to southern Africa, was strongly supported as distinct from Elaeodendron. The widely distributed genus Elaeodendron was supported as a natural group, sister to Pleurostylia. Brexia, which has been variously assigned to the Escalloniaceae, Brexiaceae, and Grossulariaceae, was strongly supported as the sister group to the clade of Elaeodendron and Pleurostylia. Catha edulis (source of the narcotic "kat") and Catha abbottii were resolved as a paraphyletic group, which supports the segregation of these two species into separate genera. Preliminary species sampling supported Empleuridium juniperinum, which had been classified within the Rutaceae, as related to Pseudosalacia and other genera from southern Africa. Allocassine laurifolia and Lauridia tetragona were resolved as closely related to one another, supporting their previously inferred relationship. Mystroxylon aethopicum and Robsonodendron eucleiforme were resolved as a paraphyletic group distinct from Cassine, which supports the recent separation of these two species into separate genera.


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1 - Colorado State University, Department of Biology, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523-1878, USA
2 - National Botanical Institute, National Herbarium, Private Bag X101, Pretoria, 0001, Republic of South Africa

Keywords:
Celastraceae
Brexia
Empleuridium
Cassine
Elaeodendron.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 44-1
Location: Salon G - Austin Grand Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Wednesday, August 17th, 2005
Time: 8:00 AM
Abstract ID:326


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