Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 299, Issue 8, pp 1419–1431 | Cite as

The evolution of Dianthus polylepis complex (Caryophyllaceae) inferred from morphological and nuclear DNA sequence data: one or two species?

  • Mohammad Farsi
  • Maryam Behroozian
  • Jamil Vaezi
  • Mohammad Reza Joharchi
  • Farshid Memariani
Original Article


Dianthus polylepis complex consists of two already known endemic species, Dianthus polylepis and D. binaludensis, in Khorassan-Kopetdagh floristic province. The taxonomic position of these species has long been debated. The aim of the present study is to shed light on the evolutionary relationships of the members of the complex using morphological and molecular data. In morphological study, firstly, 56 vegetative and floral characters were measured on 33 specimens of the both species. Multivariate analyses were performed on 25 (out of 56) significantly discriminating morphological traits. In molecular study, we sequenced alleles obtained from a region between 2nd and 6th exons of the gene coding for the enzyme dihydroflavonol 4-reductase copy1 (DFR1). Morphological results show that most of a priori identified accessions were not grouped in a posteriori classification. It is difficult to discriminate D. polylepis from D. binaludensis in morphological continuum among the accessions. Results obtained from the molecular data indicated no monophyly for the members of the D. polylepis complex. Consistency between the morphological and molecular results shows that D. polylepis and D. binaludensis were not morphologically and molecularly well differentiated. Therefore, we propose a new combination as D. polylepis subsp. binaludensis.


Caryophyllaceae Dianthus polylepis complex Morphology Molecular phylogeny Iran 



The authors wish to thank vice president for Research and Technology of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Farsi
    • 1
  • Maryam Behroozian
    • 1
  • Jamil Vaezi
    • 2
  • Mohammad Reza Joharchi
    • 1
  • Farshid Memariani
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Centre for Plant SciencesFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of SciencesShahid Chamran University of AhvazAhvazIran

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