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Relationships and Character Transformation in Pyroloideae (Ericaceae) Based on ITS Sequences, Morphology, and Development

John V. Freudenstein
Systematic Botany
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1999), pp. 398-408
DOI: 10.2307/2419697
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2419697
Page Count: 11
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Relationships and Character Transformation in Pyroloideae (Ericaceae) Based on ITS Sequences, Morphology, and Development
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Abstract

The small subfamily Pyroloideae, comprising four genera, is unusual in Ericaceae because of its nearly herbaceous habit, largely free petals, and tendencies toward leaflessness. A surprising number of hypotheses exist with respect to the relationships among these genera. Parsimony analysis of 23 morphological characters gave a pattern that is largely congruent with that obtained from analysis of ITS sequences. Two sister clades of monophyletic/monospecific genera are resolved-Chimaphila + Moneses and Orthilia + Pyrola. Relationships among three species of Chimaphila are not clearly resolved. Some structure is present within Pyrola, with two strongly supported clades (P. picta + P. aphylla + P. chlorantha and P. elliptica + P. minor). The placement of P. minor is unsuspected; most past classifications have segregated it from other Pyrola due to its short, straight style (as opposed to a longer, curved style). Developmental study reveals that the style terminates elongation early, so that in fact it is not clear which style orientation is present. The overall bud-like nature of the flower in P. minor further suggests a juvenile morphology relative to other Pyrola. The developmental information, in combination with its position on the cladogram, indicates a paedomorphic origin for the floral morphology of P. minor.

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