Stern, Stephen , Bohs, Lynn .
A Spiny Situation in the genus Solanum : Delimiting sections of Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum .
The genus Solanum (Solanaceae) is one of the largest and most economically important plant genera. One of the largest groups within the genus is the Leptostemonum clade with ca. 350-450 species. This clade is also known as the “spiny solanums” due to the presence of epidermal prickles, and it basically conforms to Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum of traditional classifications. Here we present a phylogeny of the spiny solanums with a goal of examining the monophyly of sections recognized within this large clade. Of particular interest are sections Micracantha , Erythrotrichum , and Torva , which have members convergent in many traits. These groups have challenged taxonomists because they each contain species that are scandent shrubs with recurved spines used for climbing and exhibit similar characteristics in hairs, flowers, and fruits. These sections have received taxonomic attention but, until recently, have been largely absent from molecular phylogenies. Here we present data that show that the three sections can be differentiated by both morphological and molecular characters and we provide a key for their identification. Our data indicate that section Erythrotrichum contains more species than previously thought and has two main centers of diversity, one in the Andes and another in eastern Brazil. Section Micracantha has decreased in size as species with these convergent traits are assigned to other sections. These efforts help to define monophyletic groups within the large Leptostemonum clade and will aid in taxonomic revisions of groups within Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum .
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1 - University of Utah, Department of Biology, 257 S. 1400 E., Salt Lake City, Utah, 84112, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Magpie A/Cliff Lodge - Level B
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 3:15 PM