New approaches to the systematics of Saintpaulia and Streptocarpus

Moller, M.; Cronk, Q.C.B.

Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on the Taxonomy of Cultivated Plants, Edinburgh, UK, 20-26 July 1998: 253-264


Accession: 003508044

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Molecular phylogenies of the genus Streptocarpus based on the ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences show that the genus is paraphyletic; other African genera Saintpaulia, Schizoboea and Linnaeopsis are nested within Streptocarpus. The genus Saintpaulia has evolved from a caulescent African Streptocarpus species in subgenus Streptocarpella. This has been confirmed by sequence phylogenies of three additional genes; the chloroplast trnL (UAA) intron and the spacer between the trnL (UAA) 3' exon and trnF (GAA), the chloroplast ndhF gene and the putative single copy developmental gene GCYC. The ITS phylogenies of Saintpaulia reflects its biogeographic distribution. A group of Usambara, Tanzania, species, the 'ionantha-complex' show minimal ITS genetic differentiation. The Streptocarpus ITS phylogeny is also congruent with the two base chromosome numbers and reflects the existing subgeneric division, with a few phylogenetically interesting exceptions.