Molecular phylogenetic analysis of Euphorbiaceae sensu stricto based on plastid and nuclear DNA sequences and ovule and seed character evolution
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A phylogenetic analysis of Euphorbiaceae sensu stricto is presented using sequences from rbcL, atpB, matK and 18S rDNA from 85 species and 83 genera. The combined analysis of four molecular markers resulted in only one most parsimonious tree and also generated new supported clades, which include Euphorbioideae + Acalyphoideae s.s., subclades A2 + A3, subclades A5 + A6 and a clade uniting subclades A2–A8 within Acalyphoideae s.s. A palisadal exotegmen is a possible synapomorphy for all the Euphorbiaceae, except for the subfamily Peroideae. The presence of vascular bundles in the inner integument and a thick inner integument were shown to be synapomorphies for the clade of inaperturate and articulated crotonoids and for the large clade of Euphorbioideae, Acalyphoideae s.s., inaperturate and articulated crotonoids, respectively. Characters of the aril and vascular bundles in the outer integument are discussed. The selected embryological characters were seen to be highly correlated with the molecular phylogeny. When the results of molecular phylogenetic analysis of a previous study and this study were adjusted along with the selected embryological characters, all clades within Euphorbiaceae were supported except for a clade comprising Euphorbioideae + Acalyphoideae s.s. + inaperturate crotonoids + articulated crotonoids + Adenoclineae s.l. and a clade uniting subclades A4–A8 within Acalyphoideae s.s.