Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Published in the American Journal of Botany (2006) 93(8): 1,140-1,153. Copyright 2006, Botanical Society of America. Used by permission.


Recent molecular phylogenetic studies of Solanaceae have identified many well-supported clades within the family and have permitted the creation of a phylogenetic system of classification. Here we estimate the phylogeny for Iochrominae, a clade of Physaleae sensu Olmstead et al. (1999), which contains 34 Andean species encompassing an immense diversity of floral forms and colors. Using three nuclear regions, ITS, the second intron of LEAFY, and exons 2 to 9 of the granule-bound starch synthase gene (waxy), we evaluated the monophyly of the traditional genera comprising Iochrominae and assessed the extent of interspecific hybridization within the clade. Only one of the six traditionally recognized genera of Iochrominae was supported as monophyletic. Further, comparison of the individual nuclear data sets revealed two interspecific hybrid taxa and a third possible case. These hybrid taxa occur in the Amotape–Huancabamba zone, a region between the northern and central Andes that has the greatest diversity of Iochroma species and offers frequent opportunities for hybridization in areas of sympatry. We postulate that periodic hybridization events in this area coupled with pollinator-mediated selection and the potential for microallopatry may have acted together to promote diversification in montane Andean taxa, such as Iochrominae.

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