, Volume 204, Issue 1-2, pp 75-98

The phylogeny ofPapaver s. l. (Papaveraceae): Polyphyly or monophyly?

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An RFLP analysis of the chloroplast genetrnK of 32 species of the generaPapaver, Roemeria, Stylomecon, andMeconopsis leads to the following conclusions: (1) AsianMeconopsis consists of two distinct clades and is paraphyletic in relation toPapaver, Roemeria, Stylomecon, and the W EuropeanMeconopsis cambrica. (2) Sister group relationships ofRoemeria toPapaver sect.Argemonidium and ofStylomecon toPapaver californicum are well-supported. (3)Meconopsis cambrica is nested withinPapaver (incl.Roemeria andStylomecon). The consideration of morphology, geographical distribution and ecology leads to the conclusion thatM. cambrica is best regarded as a member ofMeconopsis, and thatPapaver arose polyphyletically from within a paraphyleticMeconopsis in response to Tertiary climatic aridification. — The removal ofM. cambrica from the taxon matrix is discussed. It is concluded that this experiment illuminates the importance of critical taxon sampling, and shows that at least potentially the assessment of taxa as mono-, para-, or polyphyletic may characterize their present status only and need not reflect their phylogenetic history.