Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 224, Issue 1–2, pp 33–53 | Cite as

Phylogenetic relationships and genetic diversity among members of theFestuca-Lolium complex (Poaceae) based on ITS sequence data

  • B. S. Gaut
  • L. P. Tredway
  • C. Kubik
  • R. L. Gaut
  • W. Meyer


There have been few DNA sequencebased studies of phylogenetic relationships within theFestuca-Lolium complex. Here we infer the phylogeny of 31Festuca-Lolium taxa with a dataset of 116 ITS sequences. The results are consistent with previous studies that resolved two majorFestuca clades: one clade of fine fescues and another clade that containsLolium and associatedFestuca species. This study is unique in suggesting a third, basalFestuca clade, but support for the basal position of this group is low. Extensive sampling permitted investigation of the effects of lineage sorting and reticulate events on the evolution of the complex. Roughly half of the taxa show evidence of lineage sorting or reticulation, and the monophyly ofLolium has likely been obscured by reticulate events. Overall, polyploid species harbor higher levels of ITS sequence diversity than diploids; ITS sequence variants may provide clues to the identity of allopolyploid parents.

Key words

Festuca Lolium Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) genetic diversity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. S. Gaut
    • 1
  • L. P. Tredway
    • 2
  • C. Kubik
    • 3
  • R. L. Gaut
    • 4
  • W. Meyer
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyU.C. IrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant PathologyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant SciencesRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  4. 4.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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