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Molecular Systematics and Biogeography of the Amphibious Genus Littorella (Plantaginaceae)

Ronald K. Hoggard, Paul J. Kores, Mia Molvray, Gloria D. Hoggard and David A. Broughton
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 90, No. 3 (Mar., 2003), pp. 429-435
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4124161
Page Count: 7
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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.
Molecular Systematics and Biogeography of the Amphibious Genus Littorella (Plantaginaceae)
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Abstract

Littorella (Plantaginaceae) is a disjunct, amphibious genus represented by three closely related species. Littorella uniflora occurs in Europe including Iceland and the Azores, L. americana is found in temperate North America, and L. australis grows in temperate South America. Littorella has been recognized in numerous floristic treatments, but its status as a genus has recently been questioned. Rahn (Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 120: 145-198, 1996) proposed a new phylogeny for Plantaginaceae based on morphological, embryological, and chemical data in which he reduced Littorella to a subgenus of Plantago. This article compares the phylogeny proposed by Rahn to one based on DNA sequence data from the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. In our analysis, Littorella forms a strongly supported monophyletic clade sister to Plantago and its recognition at the generic rank appears warranted. Littorella australis is sister to L. americana, and this clade is sister to the European L. uniflora. This more distant relationship between L. uniflora and L. americana provides support for maintaining both taxa at the specific rank and suggests a European origin for Littorella. Our studies also indicate that the monotypic genus Bougueria is deeply nested within Plantago and that its inclusion within Plantago as proposed by Rahn appears justified.

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