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Phylogenetic relationships in Acanthaceae based on nuclear and chloroplast sequences with particular focus on the Thunbergioideae
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. (Plant Systematics)
Department of Structural and Functional Botany, Faculty Centre of Biodiversity, University of Vienna.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Phylogenetic analyses using maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference of one nuclear (ETS) and three chloroplast DNA regions (rpl16, rps16, trnT-trnL) were used to infer detailed phylogenetic relationships within the tropical and subtropical subfamily Thunbergioideae and among major lineages of Acanthaceae. For the first time, sequencing of the monotypic genus Anomacanthus is reported and its position as sister to Mendoncia gains strong support. Relationships among South and Central American Mendoncia species are poorly resolved, most likely reflecting an earlier rapid radiation. The clade with Anomacanthus and Mendoncia is sister to the clade comprising Pseudocalyx and Thunbergia. Relationships within the larger genus Thunbergia are generally well resolved. Two species (Thunbergia heterochondros and T. colpifera) appear morphologically intermediate between Pseudocalyx and Thunbergia. We discuss evolutionary relationships, including unclear species boundaries revealed by the molecular data, in a morphological context. Relationships among and within the four genera shed light on the biogeographic history of the group. All four genera are represented in Africa, from where Mendoncia appears to have dispersed to South and Central America and subsequently diversified into a large number of closely related species. The geographic origin of Thunbergia is uncertain, and the data point to interesting biogeographical patterns in this genus.

Keyword [en]
Anomacanthus, biogeography, Lamiales, morphology, Nelsonia, Pseudocalyx
National Category
Biological Systematics
Research subject
Plant Systematics; Plant Morphology; Systematic Botany
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-71076OAI: diva2:483774
Available from: 2012-01-25 Created: 2012-01-25 Last updated: 2012-01-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Evolutionary relationships in Thunbergioideae and other early branching lineages of Acanthaceae
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evolutionary relationships in Thunbergioideae and other early branching lineages of Acanthaceae
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Acanthaceae as circumscribed today consists of the three subfamilies Acanthoideae (Acanthaceae sensu stricto), Thunbergioideae and Nelsoniodieae, plus the genus Avicennia. Due to the morphological dissimilarities of Thunbergioideae and Nelsonioideae, the delimitation of the family has been controversial. The mangrove genus Avicennia was only recently associated with Acanthaceae for the first time, based on molecular evidence, but without morphological support. In this thesis, phylogenetic analyses of nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequences were used to test the monophyly and exact positions of Thunbergioideae and Nelsonioideae, and to infer detailed phylogenetic relationships within these subfamilies and among major lineages of Acanthaceae. Floral structure and development were comparatively studied in Avicennia and other Acanthaceae using scanning electron microscopy and stereo microscopy. Phylogenetic analyses strongly support monophyly of Thunbergioideae and Nelsonioideae, and place the latter clade with strong support as sister to all other plants treated as Acanthaceae. Thunbergioideae and Avicennia are moderately supported as sister taxa, and together they are sister to Acanthoideae. The general morphology of Avicennia can be easily accommodated in the Acanthaceae, and three synapomorphies support the suggested sister group relationship of Avicennia and Thunbergioideae: (1) collateral ovule arrangement, (2) vertical orientation of ovule curvature, and (3) an exposed nucellus that is contiguous with the ovary wall. Within Thunbergioideae and Nelsonioideae, support values for major lineages are generally high. With some exceptions, the constituent genera are supported as monophyletic. Evolutionary relationships among and within genera are discussed in a morphological and biogeographical context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Department of Botany, Stockholm University, 2012. 29 p.
National Category
Research subject
Plant Systematics
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-71080 (URN)978-91-7447-445-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-03-02, föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
At the time of doctoral defence, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Papers 2 & 3: ManuscriptsAvailable from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-01-25 Last updated: 2012-02-17Bibliographically approved

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Borg, Agneta Julia
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