Molecular systematics and evolution of marcgraviaceae
Werner, Natalie Misa
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Marcgraviaceae is a distinctive neotropical family with approximately 130 species distributed from the Caribbean and southern Mexico to northern Bolivia. In previous morphological treatments, four to seven genera have been recognized. Phylogenetic analysis of rbcL sequence data strongly supports the monophyly of the family. NdhF and trnL-F sequence comparisons resolve two major lineages within Marcgraviaceae corresponding to subfamilies Marcgravioideae and Noranteoideae. Monogeneric Marcgravioideae are united by several morphological synapomorphies and a 4 bp deletion in the trnL intron. In contrast, subfamily Noranteoideae appears to be delimited by plesiomorphic morphological characters, but it is supported as monophyletic by molecular data. These molecular data suggest a close relationship between representative species of Schwartzia and Ruyschia, which share a unique 47 bp insertion in the trnL-F spacer but have not been allied in morphological classifications. Despite considerable morphological heterogeneity within Noranteoideae, the sequence data do not resolve currently recognized genera as monophyletic groups.