Relationships within the Araceae: comparison of morphological patterns with molecular phylogenies

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:Cusimano, N., Bogner, J., Mayo, S. J., Boyce, P. C., Wong, S. Y., Hesse, M., Hetterscheid, W. L. A., Keating, R. C., French J. C.
Keywords:Araceae, Calla, character evolution, classification, Lemnoideae, molecular phylogeny, phenotypic characterization

• Premise of the study: The fi rst family-wide molecular phylogeny of the Araceae, a family of about 3800 published species in 120 genera, became available in 1995, followed by a cladistic analysis of morpho-anatomical data in 1997. The most recent and comprehensive family-wide molecular phylogeny was published in 2008 and included species from 102 genera. We reanalyzed the molecular data with a more complete genus sampling and compared the resulting phylogeny with morphological and anatomical data, with a view to contributing to a new formal classifi cation of the Araceae.
• Methods: We analyzed 113 aroid genera and 4494 aligned nucleotides that resulted from adding 11 genera to the 2008 molecular matrix. We also analyzed 81 morphological characters in the context of the molecular phylogeny, using an extended version of the 1997 morpho-anatomical data set.
• Key results: The resulting maximum-likelihood phylogeny is well resolved and supported, and most of the 44 larger clades also have morphological or anatomical synapomorphies as well as ecological or geographic cohesion. Of the 44 clades, 16 are here newly circumscribed and informally named. However, some relationships remain poorly supported within the Aroideae subfamily. The most problematic placement is Calla within Aroideae, which confl icts with the distribution of morphological, anatomical, and palynological character states.
• Conclusions: The comparison of the molecular analysis with morphological and anatomical data presented here represents an important basis for a new formal classifi cation for the Araceae and for the understanding of the evolution of this ancient family, a monocot group known in the fossil record from the early Cretaceous.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith