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Am J Bot. 2001 Jan;88(1):150-60.

A phylogenetic analysis of Prunus and the Amygdaloideae (Rosaceae) using ITS sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Korea. Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523 USA.


The economically important plum or cherry genus (PRUNUS:) and the subfamily Amygdaloideae of the Rosaceae have a controversial taxonomic history due to the lack of a phylogenetic framework. Phylogenetic analysis using the ITS sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) was conducted to construct the evolutionary history and evaluate the historical classifications of PRUNUS: and the Amygdaloideae. The analyses suggest two major groups within the Amygdaloideae: (1) PRUNUS: s.l. (sensu lato) and MADDENIA:, and (2) EXOCHORDA:, Oemleria, and PRINSEPIA: The ITS phylogeny supports the recent treatment of including EXOCHORDA: (formerly in the Spiraeoideae) in the Amygdaloideae. MADDENIA: is found to be nested within PRUNUS: s.l. in the parsimony and distance analyses, but basal to PRUNUS: s.l. in the maximum likelihood analysis. Within PRUNUS:, two major groups are recognizable: (1) the AMYGDALUS:-PRUNUS: group, and (2) the CERASUS:-LAUROCERASUS:-PADUS: group. The clades in the ITS phylogeny are not congruent with most subgeneric groups in the widely used classification of PRUNUS: by Rehder. A broadly defined PRUNUS: is supported.

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