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Generic Relationships in the Alooideae (Asphodelaceae)

Gideon F. Smith and Ben-Erik Van Wyk
Taxon
Vol. 40, No. 4 (Nov., 1991), pp. 557-581
DOI: 10.2307/1222765
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1222765
Page Count: 25
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Generic Relationships in the Alooideae (Asphodelaceae)
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Abstract

Within the Asphodelaceae the subfamily Alooideae is a natural (monophyletic) group. All the genera in this subfamily are therefore considered to have evolved from a common ancestor, based on the possession of character states which distinguish this complex from all other genera of the Asphodelaceae. However, no comprehensive interpretation of phylogenetic relationships within the entire subfamily based on comparative morphological data and phytogeographical considerations has yet been accomplished. The present paper investigates phylogenetic relationships of the genera Aloe, Astroloba, Chortolirion, Gasteria, Haworthia, Lomatophyllum and Poellnitzia using cladistic methodology. The most obvious similarities amongst these genera are the succulent leaf consistency, crescentiform or cymbiform leaf outline in cross-section and the markedly bimodal karyotype of 2n = 14 chromosomes. For the cladistic analysis 16 characters were used and the genus Kniphofia was selected as outgroup on the basis of two synapomorphies with Alooideae, namely tubular flowers and fused perianth segments. The characters are discussed in detail, polarized into plesiomorphic and apomorphic states and then employed in the generation of a phylogenetic hypothesis using the "Hennig86" software package.

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