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Am J Bot. 2006 Aug;93(8):1222-35. doi: 10.3732/ajb.93.8.1222.

Phylogenetic relationships and generic delimitation in subtribe Arctotidinae (Asteraceae: Arctotideae) inferred by DNA sequence data from ITS and five chloroplast regions.

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  • 1Molecular Ecology and Systematics Group, Department of Botany, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa;


Asteraceae are the largest family in southern Africa. Elucidating its origins and radiation in the region requires well-supported species-level phylogenies of the lineages. This paper presents a phylogenetic framework for subtribe Arctotidinae, which have a southern and eastern African-Australian distribution centered in the winter-rainfall region of South Africa. DNA sequence data from five chloroplast fragments (ndhF, psbA-trnH, rps16, trnS-trnfM, and trnT-trnF) and the nuclear ITS region were analyzed separately and in combination using parsimony and Bayesian methods. The data sets comprised exemplars from 18 ingroup species, representing the five currently accepted genera, and four outgroup species from Gorteriinae. All analyses indicated Arctotis and Haplocarpha are polyphyletic as presently circumscribed. The Australian-endemic Cymbonotus lawsonianus was placed within a strongly supported clade also containing A. arctotoides from South Africa and H. schimperi from eastern Africa. Retention of Dymondia and resurrection of Landtia at generic level are strongly supported. The phylogenetic hypotheses indicate the subtribe might have originated in temperate southern or eastern Africa, or it was ancestrally widespread in southern Africa and has diversified vicariously. The derived placement of C. lawsonianus indicates long-distance dispersal from southern Africa to Australia occurred.

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