Systematics/Phytogeography / Taxonomie/ Section
Morawetz, Jeffery J. , Randle, Christopher P. , Wolfe, Andrea D. .
Detangling Melasma (Orobanchaceae): One genus or two?
The hemiparasitic genera Alectra and Melasma have always been considered closely related. Their distribution is primarily African with 2 species each in tropical America. They share a campanulate calyx and corolla, but differ in that Alectra has sessile flowers and a marcescent corolla, while Melasma has pedicellate flowers and an accrescent calyx. Recent molecular data suggests the hemiparasitic American genus Escobedia could be sister to Alectra + Melasma, despite obvious differences in floral morphology, but each genus was only represented by a single species, and the American species of Alectra and Melasma were not included. The relationships among these genera were examined with an expanded 3-gene dataset including both American species of Alectra and Melasma, and 5 species of Escobedia. The American species of Alectra are shown to be embedded within the genus, supporting previous work. Melasma, however, is shown to comprise two distinct lineages, one African and one American, and the American lineage is supported as sister to Escobedia. The African lineage of Melasma is sister to the American lineage + Escobedia, and Alectra is then sister to these taxa. Further morphological examination of the American Melasma species is necessary to determine whether they should be transferred to Escobedia, or be accommodated within a newly described genus.
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1 - University of Michigan, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2035 Kraus Natural Science Bldg., 830 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA
2 - Sam Houston State University, Department of Biological Sciences, 1900 Avenue I., Huntsville, TX, 77340
3 - Ohio State University, Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, 300 Aronoff Laboratory, 318 W. 12th Ave., Columbus, Ohio, 43210-1293, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Time: 9:30 AM