Four new endemic genera of Rubiaceae (Pavetteae) from Madagascar represent multiple radiations into drylands

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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 se¬quence 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 Helicto-sperma 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. In the four new genera, five new species are described and one new combination is made: Exal¬losperma longiflora De Block; Helictosperma malacophylla (Drake) De Block, Helictosperma poissoniana De Block, Pseudocoptosperma menabense Capuron ex De Block; Tulearia capsaintemariensis De Block and Tulearia splendida De Block.
Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)1-66
Aantal pagina's66
StatusGepubliceerd - 2018


  • B290-taxonomie-van-planten



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