Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 302, Issue 8, pp 1047–1066 | Cite as

New circumscription of the genus Gamochaeta (Asteraceae, Gnaphalieae) inferred from nuclear and plastid DNA sequences

  • Estrella UrtubeyEmail author
  • Alicia López
  • María A. Chemisquy
  • Arne A. Anderberg
  • Carlos M. Baeza
  • Néstor D. Bayón
  • Leonardo P. Deble
  • Andrés Moreira-Muñoz
  • Guy L. Nesom
  • Mac H. Alford
  • Luciana Salomón
  • Susana E. Freire
Original Article


Gamochaeta (tribe Gnaphalieae, Asteraceae) is composed of ca. 60 species primarily distributed in tropical and subtropical America. Within the tribe Gnaphalieae, the genus is characterized by capitula arranged in spikes or head-like clusters, few hermaphroditic central florets, truncate style branches with apical sweeping trichomes, pappus bristles connate at the base into a ring falling as a unit, and achenes with globose twin trichomes. Previous molecular phylogenetic studies have suggested the paraphyly of the genus, but have not provided a basis for redefining generic limits due to incomplete taxon sampling. To address this problem, DNA sequences from the plastid (trnL-F) and nuclear (ETS and ITS) genomes were analyzed from a broad taxon sample representing the full range of morphological variation known in the genus. Our results affirm that Gamochaeta is paraphyletic as presently circumscribed. Two clades can be recognized: one clade that includes the majority of the species currently assigned to Gamochaeta and a second clade that includes Gamochaetopsis, Stuckertiella and seven species of Gamochaeta. We present here a new circumscription of Gamochaeta, including two new combinations, Gamochaeta alpina and Gamochaeta peregrina, and the resurrection of Gamochaeta capitata. Our results also show Omalotheca supina, O. norvegica and O. sylvatica, which were placed by some authors in Gamochaeta or in Gnaphalium, form a monophyletic group distantly related to both genera.


Gamochaetopsis Omalotheca Stuckertiella ETS ITS trnL-F 



We express our thanks to the reviewers for critical reading of the manuscript; to S. Beck (LPB, Bolivia) for his assistance during field work in Bolivia; to F. Zuloaga (SI, Argentina) and A. Tribsch (SZU, Austria) who provided material from their own collections; to L. Aagesen for comments on early drafts of the manuscript; to the curators of CONC, LP, LPB, MNCS, MO, SI, SZU, USMS and W for providing materials; to F. Zuloaga and S. Beck for permission to use their photographs included in Fig. 6; J. Hurst for technical assistance. This work was supported by Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas for financial support (PIP 112-200801-02196) to S. E. Freire and FONDECYT No. 1150425 to A. Moreira Muñoz.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Estrella Urtubey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alicia López
    • 1
  • María A. Chemisquy
    • 2
  • Arne A. Anderberg
    • 3
  • Carlos M. Baeza
    • 4
  • Néstor D. Bayón
    • 5
  • Leonardo P. Deble
    • 6
  • Andrés Moreira-Muñoz
    • 7
  • Guy L. Nesom
    • 8
  • Mac H. Alford
    • 9
  • Luciana Salomón
    • 1
  • Susana E. Freire
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Botánica Darwinion-CONICETSan IsidroArgentina
  2. 2.Centro Regional de Investigaciones Científicas y Transferencia Tecnológica de La Rioja (CRILAR)-Provincia de La Rioja, UNLaR, UNCa, SEGEMAR, CONICETAnillacoArgentina
  3. 3.Department of BotanySwedish Museum of Natural HistoryStockholmSweden
  4. 4.Departamento de Botánica, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y OceanográficasUniversidad de ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  5. 5.Área de Botánica, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias y ForestalesUniversidad Nacional de La PlataLa PlataArgentina
  6. 6.Curso de Licenciatura em Ciências da NaturezaUniversidade Federal do PampaDom PedritoBrazil
  7. 7.Instituto de GeografíaPontificia Universidad Católica de ValparaisoValparaisoChile
  8. 8.Fort WorthUSA
  9. 9.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA

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