Journal of Plant Biology

, 54:409 | Cite as

Taxonomic Study of Korean Scirpus L. s.l. (Cyperaceae) II: Pattern of Phenotypic Evolution Inferred from Molecular Phylogeny

  • Jongduk Jung
  • Hong-Keun ChoiEmail author
Original Research


Scirpus L. s.l. is well known as one of the polyphyletic groups in Cyperaceae. Recent molecular phylogenetic studies clearly suggested that Scirpus s.l. should be separated into several independent genera. In this study, we intend to present the morphological variations and patterns of phenotypic evolution based on molecular phylogeny of Korean Scirpus s.l. Five genera, including 21 taxa from Korean Scirpus s.l., were examined: three species of Bolboschoenus, three species of Schoenoplectus, eight species of Schoenoplectiella including one hybrid, five species of Scirpus, and two species of Trichophorum. For morphological analyses, 23 and 48 characters were selected from vegetative and reproductive organs, respectively. Molecular phylogeny was inferred from a nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer, the chloroplast rbcL gene, and the chloroplast trnL-F region. Distinct characteristics and quantitative variation was presented for identification of the five genera and their species. A pronounced pattern of morphological character change was reduction, although many other character states seem to be homoplastic. We suggest that the reduction of phenotypic characteristics has been expressed in terms of condensation of internodes, reduction of leaf blade, and simplification of inflorescence among five genera of Korean Scirpus s.l.


Bolboschoenus Schoenoplectus Schoenoplectiella Scirpus Trichophorum Cyperaceae Molecular phylogeny Morphology Character change 



We thank the curator at the Sungshin Women’s University herbarium for permitting the examination of specimens. This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST; NRF-2009-0088457) and is also a part of a Ph.D. dissertation for the first author in the Graduate School of Ajou University.

Supplementary material

12374_2011_9181_MOESM1_ESM.doc (166 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 165 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Korea 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological ScienceAjou UniversitySuwonSouth Korea

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