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Alejandro, G J; Razafimandimbison, SG; Liede-Schumann, S: Polyphyly of Mussaenda inferred from ITS and trnT-F data and its implication for generic limits in Mussaendeae (Rubiaceae, American Journal of Botany, 92, 544-557 (2005) [Link]
Key words: Biogeography ; Bremeria; ITS ; Mussaenda • Mussaendeae; Rubiaceae; trnT-F
Although recognition of Mussaenda as a separate genus has been widely accepted, its generic circumscriptions have always been controversial. In this first molecular phylogenetic study focused specifically on Mussaenda sensu lato (s.l.) and its allied genera, parsimony analyses were based on both ITS and trnT-F sequence data to (1) test the monophyly of Mussaenda s.l. as presently circumscribed, (2) assess the phylogenetic relationships within the tribe Mussaendeae as currently delimited, (3) evaluate the phylogenetic value of the morphological characters traditionally and/or currently used to circumscribe Mussaendeae, (4) and make inferences on the biogeographical origin of Mussaenda. Of the 63 trnT-F and 38 ITS sequences included in our studies, 52 and 36 sequences, respectively, are newly published here. Our results highly support the polyphyly of Mussaenda s.l. as currently delimited but further support the monophyly of Mussaendeae sensu Bremer and Thulin. The Malagasy Mussaenda are more closely related to Landiopsis than they are to the African and Asian Mussaenda. Pseudomussaenda and the Afro-Asian Mussaenda clade are resolved as sister groups. Aphaenandra is nested within the Afro-Asian Mussaenda clade. As a result, we merge Aphaenandra in Mussaenda, which is now restricted to include only the African and Asian Mussaenda representatives. We describe a new genus Bremeria to accommodate all Indian Ocean (Madagascar and the Mascarenes) Mussaenda species and make 19 new combinations. The newly delimited Mussaenda is diagnosed by reduplicate-valvate aestivation and glabrous styles, whereas Bremeria can be distinguished from the remaining Mussaendeae genera by having both reduplicate- and induplicate-valvate aestivation and densely pubescent styles. Our studies strongly suggest an African origin of the newly delimited Mussaenda. Finally, descriptions of the newly circumscribed Mussaenda and Bremeria are provided.
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