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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2004 May;31(2):517-41.

Phylogeny of the festucoid grasses of subtribe Loliinae and allies (Poeae, Pooideae) inferred from ITS and trnL-F sequences.

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  • 1Department of Agriculture (Botany), University of Zaragoza, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain.


Analyses of ribosomal ITS and chloroplast trnL-F sequences provide phylogenetic reconstruction for the festucoids (Poeae: Loliinae), a group of temperate grasses with morphological and molecular affinities to the large genus Festuca. Parsimony and Bayesian analyses of the combined ITS/trnL-F dataset show Loliinae to be monophyletic but unresolved for a weakly supported clade of 'broad-leaved Festuca,' a well-supported clade of 'fine-leaved Festuca,' and Castellia. The first group includes subgenera Schenodorus, Drymanthele, Leucopoa, and Subulatae, and sections Subbulbosae, Scariosa, and Pseudoscariosa of Festuca, plus Lolium and Micropyropsis. The second group includes sections Festuca, Aulaxyper, Eskia, and Amphigenes of Festuca, plus Vulpia, Ctenopsis, Psilurus, Wangenheimia, Cutandia, Narduroides, and Micropyrum. Subtribes Dactylidinae and Cynosurinae/Parapholiinae are sister clades and are the closest relatives of Loliinae. Vulpia is polyphyletic within the 'fine-leaved' fescues as revealed by the two genome analyses. Lolium is resolved as monophyletic in the ITS and combined analyses, but unresolved in the trnL-F based tree. Conflict between the ITS and the trnL-F trees in the placement of several taxa suggests the possibility of past reticulation events, although lineage sorting and possible ITS paralogy cannot be ruled out.

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