Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 15–31 | Cite as

A RAPD study of the Sarcostemma group of Cynanchum (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae-Asclepiadeae)

  • Sigrid Liede-SchumannEmail author
  • Stefan Dötterl
  • Margit Gebauer
  • Ulrich Meve
Original Article


One hundred and thirty-seven accessions of Cynanchum viminale and its relatives, formerly known as Sarcostemma, were studied using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD). A fingerprinting technique was used because sequencing had failed to differentiate between morphologically separable groups. Chromosome counts were conducted to establish the ploidy level of the accessions. The banding patterns resulting from RAPD analysis were evaluated with Canonical Analysis of Principal Coordinates, Permanova and neighbour-joining. A strong geographic component was found in the structure of the group. Taxa considered species or subspecies based on morphology often formed coherent groups. The data are interpreted to reflect at least two cycles of diversification: the first one from Madagascar and the second one most likely from the East African–Arabian region, reaching Madagascar again. In mainland Africa, polyploidisation has occurred several times.


CAP Madagascar Old World Neighbour-joining Permanova Chromosome numbers Ploidy level Species concept 



The present work was conducted over a period of more than 20 years, when our interest was turned to ‘Sarcostemma’ in 1988, during the 20th IOS conference in Harare, Zimbabwe. SLS thanks all the people who have shared field trips in various parts of the large distribution area in those days long gone: Steven Hammer, Sphaeroid Institute, Vista, CA; L. E. Newton, Kenyatta University, Nairobi; and Jim D Conrad, Yucátan, México. We also thank all the many people who have contributed plants from their own collections, in particular F. Albers, Univ. Münster; D. Cumming, Port Alfred, South Africa; P.I. Forster, Indooropilly; J. Lavranos, Loule; B. Mies, Düsseldorf; R. D. Mangelsdorff, Univ. Frankfurt; M. Ricanek and P. Hanacek, Brno.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sigrid Liede-Schumann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefan Dötterl
    • 1
  • Margit Gebauer
    • 1
  • Ulrich Meve
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant SystematicsUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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