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Four new endemic genera of Rubiaceae (Pavetteae) from Madagascar represent multiple radiations into drylands
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2954-7029
2018 (English)In: PhytoKeys, ISSN 1314-2011, E-ISSN 1314-2003, no 99, p. 1-66Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 The taxonomic positions and phylogenetic relationships of six Pavetteae species endemic to Madagascar were tested with a phylogenetic study of the Afro-Madagascan representatives of the tribe Pavetteae based on sequence data from six markers rps16, trnT-F, petD, accD-psa1, PI and ITS. The six species were resolved into four well-supported and morphologically distinct clades which we here formally recognise at generic level. The new genera are the monospecific Exallosperma and Pseudocoptosperma, each with a single species, and Helictosperma and Tulearia, each with two species. Each genus is characterised by one or more autapomorphies or by a unique combination of plesiomorphic characters. Mostly, the distinguishing characters are found in fruit and seed; Exallosperma differs from all other Pavetteae genera by the fruit consisting of two stony pyrenes, each with a single laterally flattened seed with irregularly distributed ridges on the surface; Helictosperma is unique by its single spherical seed rolled-in on itself in the shape of a giant pill-millipede. Pseudocoptosperma is characterised by the combination of three ovules pendulous from a small placenta and triangular stipules with a strongly developed awn, whereas Tulearia is characterised by robust sericeous flowers, small leaves, uni- or pauciflorous inflorescences and fruits with two pyrenes, each with a single ruminate seed. 

The four new genera show marked adaptations to the dry habitats in which they grow. They represent multiple radiations into drylands and highlight the importance of the dry forest and scrub vegetation in western, southern and northern Madagascar for plant biodiversity. The description of the four new genera shows that the tribe Pavetteae exhibits the same pattern as many plant groups in Madagascar, which are characterised by a high proportion of endemic genera comprising a single or a few species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bulgaria: Pensoft Publishers, 2018. no 99, p. 1-66
National Category
Biological Systematics
Research subject
Diversity of life
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-2954DOI: 10.3897/phtokeys.99.23713OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-2954DiVA, id: diva2:1265023
Available from: 2018-11-22 Created: 2018-11-22 Last updated: 2018-11-22

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