Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 256, Issue 1–4, pp 1–16 | Cite as

Molecular phylogeny of Phalaenopsis Blume (Orchidaceae) based on the internal transcribed spacer of the nuclear ribosomal DNA

  • C C Tsai
  • S C Huang
  • C H ChouEmail author


The internal transcribed spacer (ITS1, 5.8S rDNA, and ITS2) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) was sequenced from 53 species, which represent most of the living species diversity in the genus Phalaenopsis (Orchidaceae). A phylogeny was developed for the genus based on the neighbor-joining and maximum parsimony analyses of molecular data. Results of these analyses provided support for the monophyly of the genus Phalaenopsis and concurred in that the genera Doritis and Kingidium should be treated as being parts of the genus Phalaenopsis as suggested by Christenson (2001). Within the genus Phalaenopsis, neither subgenera Aphyllae nor Parishianae were monophyletic, and they were highly clustered with subgenus Proboscidioides plus sections Esmeralda and Deliciosae of subgenus Phalaenopsis based on ITS data. Those species also have the same characters of morphology of four pollinia and similar biogeographies. Furthermore, neither subgenus Phalaenopsis nor Polychilos was monophyletic. Within the subgenus Phalaenopsis, only section Phalaenopsis was highly supported as being monophyletic. As for the subgenus Polychilos, only section Polychilos was moderately supported as being monophyletic. In conclusion, the present molecular data obtained from the ITS sequence of nrDNA of the genus Phalaenopsis provide valuable information for elucidating the phylogeny of this genus.


Phalaenopsis phylogeny rDNA internal transcribed spacer 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kaohsiung District Agricultural Improvement StationPingtungTaiwan
  2. 2.National Pingtung University of Science and TechnologyPingtungTaiwan
  3. 3.Floricultural Research CenterTaiwan Agricultural Research InstituteTaichungTaiwan
  4. 4.National Sun Yat-sen UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan

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