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J Plant Res. 2008 May;121(3):253-60. doi: 10.1007/s10265-008-0153-0. Epub 2008 Mar 19.

Molecular phylogenetic analysis of Violaceae (Malpighiales) based on plastid and nuclear DNA sequences.

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Department of Natural Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Integrated Human Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan.


A phylogenetic analysis of Violaceae is presented using sequences from rbcL, atpB, matK and 18S rDNA from 39 species and 19 genera. The combined analysis of four molecular markers resulted in only one most parsimonious tree, and 33 of all 38 nodes within Violaceae are supported by a bootstrap proportion of more than 50%. Fusispermum is in a basal-most position and Rinorea, Decorsella, Rinoreocarpus and the other Violaceae are successively diverged. The monogeneric subfamily Fusispermoideae is supported, and it shares a number of plesiomorphies with Passifloraceae (a convolute petal aestivation, actinomorphic flowers and connate filaments). The other monogeneric subfamily Leonioideae is sunken within the subfamily Violoideae and is sister to Gloeospermum, sharing some seed morphological characteristics. The present molecular phylogenetic analysis suggests that the convolute, apotact and quincuncial petal aestivation is successively derived within the family. The evolutionary trends of the other morphological characteristics, such as a filament connation, the number of carpels and floral symmetry, are discussed.

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