Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 501–514 | Cite as

Are Lotus creticus and Lotus cytisoides (Leguminosae) closely related species? Evidence from nuclear ribosomal ITS sequence data

  • Graeme Sandral
  • Galina V. Degtjareva
  • Tatiana E. Kramina
  • Dmitry D. Sokoloff
  • Tahir H. Samigullin
  • Steve Hughes
  • Carmen M. Valiejo-Roman
Research Article


Lotus creticus is a potentially important perennial legume for soil management in the Mediterranean climate. This plant is in focus of experimental research in different countries. The so-called Lotus creticus group is taxonomically problematic. Although some authors consider all members of the group as a single variable species, others segregate several species distinct from L. creticus, especially L. cytisoides. Recent morphological studies suggested that L. creticus and L. cytisoides are taxonomically distinct at specific level and not even closely related to each other. Two molecular phylogenetic studies published so far and based on one accession of L. creticus each gave conflicting results on relationships of this species. In this paper, sequences of nuclear ribosomal ITS (nrITS) are produced from multiple accessions of both L. creticus and L. cytisoides. Taxonomic identity of each accession has been tested using morphology. The new nrITS sequences are inserted in a data matrix containing a representative set of Lotus species covering all the geographical range and all major taxonomic groups of Lotus. Phylogenetic analysis of nrITS sequence data showed that L. creticus is related to L. assakensis and other species of the section Pedrosia while L. cytisoides is related to L. longisiliquosus and other species of the section Lotea. These results are important for establishing future germplasm collection, breeding and selection programs of perennial Lotus species.


Loteae Lotus creticus Lotus cytisoides Mediterranean Molecular phylogeny nrITS Perennial legumes Taxonomy 



We are grateful to all seed donators for providing seed material of L. creticus and L. cytisoides and to Maxim Nuraliev for providing herbarium specimens of L. pseudocreticus and L. assakensis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graeme Sandral
    • 1
    • 2
  • Galina V. Degtjareva
    • 3
  • Tatiana E. Kramina
    • 4
  • Dmitry D. Sokoloff
    • 4
  • Tahir H. Samigullin
    • 5
  • Steve Hughes
    • 6
  • Carmen M. Valiejo-Roman
    • 5
  1. 1.NSW Department of Primary IndustriesWagga Wagga Agricultural Research InstituteWagga WaggaAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Natural and Agricultural ScienceUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  3. 3.Botanical Garden of Moscow University, Biological FacultyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Department of Higher Plants, Biological FacultyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  5. 5.Department of Evolutionary Biochemistry, A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physicochemical BiologyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  6. 6.South Australian Research and Development InstituteAdelaideAustralia

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