Low-copy nuclear data confirm rampant allopolyploidy in the cystopteridaceae (Polypodiales)

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© International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) 2014. Here we present the first nuclear phylogeny for Cystopteridaceae (Polypodiales), using the single-copy locus gapCp “short”. This phylogeny corroborates broad results from plastid data in demonstrating strong support for the monophyly of the family’s three genera—Cystopteris, Acystopteris, and Gymnocarpium—and of the major groups within Cystopteris (C. montana, the sudetica and bulbifera clades, and the C. fragilis complex). In addition, it confirms the rampant hybridization (allopolyploidy) that has long been suspected within both Cystopteris and Gymnocarpium. In some cases, these data provide the first DNA-sequence-based evidence for previous hypotheses of polyploid species origins (such as the cosmopolitan G. dryopteris being an allotetraploid derivative of the diploids G. appalachianum and G. disjunctum). Most of the allopolyploids, however, have no formal taxonomic names. This pattern is particularly strong within the C. fragilis complex, where our results imply that the eight included accessions of “C. fragilis” represent at least six distinct allopolyploid taxa.





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Rothfels, CJ, AK Johnson, MD Windham and KM Pryer (2014). Low-copy nuclear data confirm rampant allopolyploidy in the cystopteridaceae (Polypodiales). Taxon, 63(5). pp. 1026–1036. 10.12705/635.32 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21758.

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Kathleen M. Pryer

Professor of Biology

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