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Molecular Systematics of Iridaceae: Evidence from Four Plastid DNA Regions

Gail Reeves, Mark W. Chase, Peter Goldblatt, Paula Rudall, Michael F. Fay, Anthony V. Cox, Bernard Lejeune and Tatiana Souza-Chies
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 88, No. 11 (Nov., 2001), pp. 2074-2087
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3558433
Page Count: 14
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Molecular Systematics of Iridaceae: Evidence from Four Plastid DNA Regions
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Abstract

Iridaceae are one of the largest families of Lilianae and probably also among the best studied of monocotyledons. To further evaluate generic, tribal, and subfamilial relationships we have produced four plastid DNA data sets for 57 genera of Iridaceae plus outgroups: rps4, rbcL (both protein-coding genes), the trnL intron, and the trnL-F intergenic spacer. All four matrices produce similar although not identical trees, and we thus analyzed them in a combined analysis, which produced a highly resolved and well-supported topology, in spite of the fact that the partition homogeneity test indicated strong incongruence. In each of the individual trees, some genera or groups of genera are misplaced relative to morphological cladistic studies, but the combined analysis produced a pattern much more similar to these previous ideas of relationships. In the combined tree, all subfamilies were resolved as monophyletic, except Nivenioideae that formed a grade in which Ixioideae were embedded. Achlorophyllous Geosiris (sometimes referred to Geosiridaceae or Burmanniaceae) fell within the nivenioid grade. Most of the tribes were monophyletic, and Isophysis (Tasmanian) was sister to the rest of the family; Diplarrhena (Australian) fell in a well-supported position as sister to Irideae/Sisyrinchieae/Tigridieae/Mariceae (i.e., Iridoideae); Bobartia of Sisyrinchieae is supported as a member of Irideae. The paraphyly of Nivenioideae is suspicious due to extremely high levels of sequence divergence, and when they were constrained to be monophyletic the resulting trees were only slightly less parsimonious (<1.0%). However, this subfamily also lacks clear morphological synapomorphies and is highly heterogeneous, so it is difficult to develop a strong case on nonmolecular grounds for their monophyly.

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