The Botanical Review

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 22–29 | Cite as

A Preliminary Molecular Phylogeny of the Rhynchosporeae (Cyperaceae)

  • Wm. Wayt Thomas
  • Ana Claudia Araújo
  • Marccus Vinícius Alves


The tribe Rhynchosporeae comprises the genera Rhynchospora and Pleurostachys and has never been studied using molecular techniques. The objective of this study was to use an analysis of trnL-F sequences to evaluate the hypothesized taxonomic divisions within the Rhynchosporeae including the monophyly of the genera and the soundness of the subgenera and sections. A total of 44 ingroup species were studied, 41 of Rhynchospora representing 22 of Kükenthal’s 28 sections, and three of Pleurostachys. Five outgroup species from other genera were also included. The cladistic analysis of 50 trnL intron and trnL-F intergenic spacer sequences resulted in 16 trees and a strict consensus tree. The Rhynchosporeae form two well-supported primary clades with several well-supported smaller clades, many of which agree with previously hypothesized sections. Pleurostachys is embedded within the second primary clade.


Cyperaceae Rhynchospora Pleurostachys Phylogeny Systematics Rhynchosporeae 



We thank P. Delprete for the collection of fresh material dried in silica gel. We thank the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Program for Molecular Systematics Studies of The New York Botanical Garden for making it possible for us to carry out the research. We thank the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium of The New York Botanical Garden for permission to remove samples from specimens for DNA extraction and analysis. Particular thanks are extended to K. Cameron, S. Pell, I. Sanchez-del Pino, and D. Little for help and guidance in the laboratory.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wm. Wayt Thomas
    • 1
  • Ana Claudia Araújo
    • 2
  • Marccus Vinícius Alves
    • 3
  1. 1.The New York Botanical GardenBronxUSA
  2. 2.The HerbariumRoyal Botanic GardensSurreyUK
  3. 3.Universidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil

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