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Am J Bot. 1999 Jan;86(1):81-97.

Phylogeny of Rubus (rosaceae) based on nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer region sequences.

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5722 Deering Hall, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469-5722.


We used nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer region (ITS 1 - 5.8S - ITS 2; ITS) sequences to generate the first phylogeny of Rubus based on a large, molecular data set. We sampled 57 taxa including 20 species of subgenus Rubus (blackberries), one to seven species from each of the remaining 11 subgenera, and the monotypic and closely related Dalibarda. In Rubus, ITS sequences are most informative among subgenera, and variability is low between closely related species. Parsimony analysis indicates that Rubus plus Dalibarda form a strongly supported clade, and D. repens may nest within Rubus. Of the subgenera with more than one species sampled, only subgenus Orobatus appears monophyletic. Three large clades are strongly supported: one contains all sampled species of nine of the 12 subgenera; another includes extreme Southern Hemisphere species of subgenera Comaropsis, Dalibarda, and Lampobatus; and a third clade consists of subgenus Rubus plus R. alpinus of subgenus Lampobatus. Rubus ursinus appears to be a hybrid between a close relative of R. macraei (subgenus Idaeobatus, raspberries) and an unidentified subgenus Rubus species. ITS sequences are generally consistent with biogeography and ploidy, but traditionally important morphological characters, such as stem armature and leaf type, appear to have limited phylogenetic value in Rubus.

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