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Am J Bot. 2000 Feb;87(2):259-72.

Phylogeny of South African Gnaphalieae (Asteraceae) based on two noncoding chloroplast sequences.

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CSIRO, Plant Industry, Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian National Herbarium, GPO Box 1600, andThe Australian National University, Division of Botany and Zoology, Canberra, Australia.


The Gnaphalieae are a group of sunflowers that have their greatest diversity in South America, Southern Africa, and Australia. The objective of this study was to reconstruct a phylogeny of the South African Gnaphalieae using sequence data from two noncoding chloroplast DNA sequences, the trnL intron and trnL/trnF intergenic spacer. Included in this investigation are the genera of the Gnaphalieae from the African basal groups, members of the subtribes Cassiniinae, Gnaphaliinae, and Relhaniinae, and African representatives from the large Old World genus Helichrysum. Results indicate that two Gnaphaloid genera, Printzia and Callilepis, should be excluded from the Gnaphalieae. In most trees the Relhaniinae s.s. (sensu stricto) and some of the basal taxa comprise a clade that is sister to the remainder of the tribe Gnaphalieae. The Relhaniinae, which are restricted to Africa, are not a monophyletic group as presently circumscribed, nor are the South African members of Helichrysum, the Cassiniinae and Gnaphaliinae. There is general agreement between our molecular analysis and that of morphology, particularly in the terminal branches of the trees.

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