Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 294, Issue 3–4, pp 159–166 | Cite as

Phylogenetic relationships of the rare Korean monotypic endemic genus Pentactina Nakai in the tribe Spiraeeae (Rosaceae) based on molecular data

  • Chunghee Lee
  • Suk-Pyo HongEmail author
Original Article


The phylogenetic position of Pentactina Nakai, one of only six endemic genera in the Korean peninsula, has been elusive and difficult to determine due to inaccessibility of plant materials. In this paper, we were able to obtain material from the one and only living collection of Pentactina outside of its native range in North Korea and determined its phylogenetic relationship relative to the other genera within the tribe Spiraeeae (Rosaceae). This paper presents the first molecular phylogeny of the genus Pentactina using both nuclear ribosomal ITS regions as well as chloroplast DNA trnL-trnF intergenic spacers to conduct phylogenetic analyses (maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood) of the Spiraeeae. The ITS and combined data set trees suggest that Pentactina shares its most recent common ancestor with Petrophyton, a small western North American genus, while cpDNA suggests close relationships to Kelseya, Sibiraea, and Petrophyton. Therefore, based on the present molecular sequence data, we suggest that the rare Korean monotypic endemic genus Pentactina possibly has a close relationship with the small western North American genus Petrophyton, although receiving a weak support. In addition, our current study suggests that Pentactina is not part of the large genus Spiraea as previously hypothesized by Hutchinson. Pentactina possess combinations of several morphological features within the Spiraeeae such as an erect shrub habit, simple serrate leaves, and raceme inflorescences, and recognition as a distinct endemic genus in Korea is warranted.


Chloroplast trnL-trnF intergenic spacer ITS Korean endemic genus Pentactina rupicola Rosaceae Spiraeeae 



The authors would like to thank the director and staff of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh for providing living material for Pentactina. We are also grateful to Dr. Jin-Hyub Paik and Ms. Wun-Wook Hyun in RBGE (both now in IBMRC-Indonesia), and all colleagues from KHUS (Kyung Hee University, Seoul) for their kind assistance and collecting materials. We also thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions for improving the earlier version of manuscript. This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Sciences and Technology (award grant number: 2010-0016596) to S.-P. Hong.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Korea National ArboretumPocheon-siSouth Korea
  2. 2.Laboratory of Plant Systematics, Department of Biology and Institute of Basic SciencesKyung Hee UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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