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Evolutionary trends in Tetrastigma (Vitaceae): Morphological diversity and taxonomic implications
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Habib S, Dang VC, Ickert-Bond SM, Wen J, Chen ZD, Lu LM*
PubYear : 2018
Volume : 56  Issue : 4
Publication Name : Journal of Systematics and Evolution
Page number : 360-373
Abstract : 

Tetrastigma (Miq.) Planch. (Vitaceae) is a genus with ca. 100 species showing great morphological diversity. Previous molecular phylogenetic studies suggested that traditional classification systems are not consistent with the molecular phylogeny, and Tetrastigma is undergoing further systematic investigation. We traced the evolutionary trends of 20 morphological characters within a robust phylogenetic framework. Our results revealed that many morphological characters show either multiple transitions or few state changes, however, some characters show distinct variation. The two subgenera in Tetrastigma (subgen. Tetrastigma and subgen. Palmicirrata) based on unbranched/bifurcate versus digitately branched tendrils are not supported because subgen. Tetrastigma is paraphyletic. However, the unbranched versus bifurcate/digitately branched tendril is of taxonomic utility to characterize some of the major clades. Inflorescences in Tetrastigma appear axillary, but are leafopposed on a compressed axillary shoot. We found most of the species in Tetrastigma retained the ancestral compound dichasial inflorescence, except those of clade IV that have derived pseudoumbellate inflorescences. Other characters including habit, leaf organization, and berry shape provide additional morphological support for the major clades. Our morphological analysis and recent molecular study suggest each of the five major clades within Tetrastigma be treated as distinct taxonomic sections (five sections in the genus).

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