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Phylogeny and Systematics of Sphenostylis and Nesphostylis (Leguminosae: Phaseoleae) Based on Morphological and Chloroplast DNA Data

Daniel Potter and Jeff J. Doyle
Systematic Botany
Vol. 19, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1994), pp. 389-406
DOI: 10.2307/2419764
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2419764
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Phylogeny and Systematics of Sphenostylis and Nesphostylis (Leguminosae: Phaseoleae) Based on Morphological and Chloroplast DNA Data
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Abstract

Sphenostylis and Nesphostylis (Leguminosae: Phaseoleae) together include about ten species in tropical Africa, India, and Burma. The two are considered sister genera based on the presence, in all species, of a cuneate dorsiventrally flattened style. Cladistic analysis of morphological characters for species of Sphenostylis and Nesphostylis and two outgroup taxa generated eleven equally parsimonious trees, which differed in hypotheses of relationship between Sphenostylis and related genera and among species of Sphenostylis. Cladistic analysis of restriction site data for the chloroplast DNA of a subset of these taxa produced two trees, which differed from one another only in hypotheses of relationship among plastomes of subspecies of S. erecta. Both of the chloroplast DNA-based trees, some of the morphology-based trees, and trees from cladistic analysis of combined data supported the traditionally recognized sister relationship between Sphenostylis and Nesphostylis and revealed two major clades within Sphenostylis: one including the purple-flowered taxa except S. briartii and one including the yellow-flowered taxa. The divergence between these clades was greater for chloroplast DNA data than for morphological data. In view of the results obtained, the following taxonomic changes are made: transfer of S. bracteata to Nesphostylis, as Nesphostylis bracteata, restoration of S. erecta to specific status, and transfer of S. marginata subsp. obtusifolia to S. erecta, as Sphenostylis erecta subsp. obtusifolia. With these changes, Sphenostylis now includes seven species in tropical and southern Africa and Nesphostylis comprises three species: one each in tropical Africa, India, and Burma.

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