Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 301, Issue 1, pp 171–184 | Cite as

Sibbaldia: a molecular phylogenetic study of a remarkably polyphyletic genus in Rosaceae

  • Torsten ErikssonEmail author
  • Magnus Lundberg
  • Mats Töpel
  • Pia Östensson
  • Jenny E. E. Smedmark
Original Article


Using DNA sequence data from nuclear ribosomal ITS in combination with plastid trnLF spacer and trnL intron data, we show that Sibbaldia is a polyphyletic assemblage. It falls into five separate clades of Potentilleae, three within Fragariinae and two within Potentilla (Potentillinae sensu Soják). To a large extent, our results are congruent with Soják’s findings based on morphological characters such as anther structure. Four of the Sibbaldia species included in this study remain in Sibbaldia, while S. adpressa is classified in Sibbaldianthe, S. perpusilloides is considered to represent a new genus in Fragariinae, Chamaecallis Smedmark, S. micropetala is nested within the Potentilla anserina clade, and four species belong to a basal clade of Potentilla. The phylogenetic affinity of Sibbaldiopsis is still unsettled, but one of the three species that have been classified in the genus is found to belong inside Sibbaldia, and it should be named Sibbaldia retusa (O.F. Müller) T. Erikss. Further study will show whether the remaining two species, Potentilla cuneifolia and P. miyabei, are more closely related to Sibbaldia, Sibbaldianthe, or if they make up a distinct lineage separate from either of these.


Bayesian inference Phylogeny Polyphyly Potentilla Sibbaldia Taxonomy 



We are grateful for the access to herbarium material from the herbaria in Stockholm (S), Copenhagen (C) and London (BM, K). We are also grateful for being able to cultivate certain species in the Bergius Botanic Garden, Stockholm. We thank A. Yoder (Duke University) and E. Conti (Universität Zürich) for help with sequencing during lean times and B. Ertter (University of California, Berkeley) for information on Horkelia.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Torsten Eriksson
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Magnus Lundberg
    • 2
  • Mats Töpel
    • 3
  • Pia Östensson
    • 2
  • Jenny E. E. Smedmark
    • 5
  1. 1.Bergius FoundationRoyal Swedish Academy of SciencesStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of BotanyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Environmental SciencesGothenburg UniversityGöteborgSweden
  4. 4.The Natural History Collections, University of BergenBergenNorway
  5. 5.University Museum of Bergen, The Natural History Collections, University of BergenBergenNorway

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