Chloroplast DNA restriction site variation was studied in 31 New World species ofIpomoea, representing a majority of the New World sections and series within the genus. Using 14 endonucleases, a total of 124 phylogenetically informative restriction sites was detected. Dollo parsimony, Wagner parsimony, and bootstrap methods were employed to construct phylogenetic trees and evaluate confidence intervals of monophyletic groups. With a few exceptions, groups circumscribed on the basis of morphological variation are in agreement with groupings based on restriction site variation. Relationships between subgeneric groupings, however, disagree substantially with those proposed in the past. Although conflicting hypotheses for some intersectional relationships are not presently resolvable, cpDNA restriction site analyses propose the following refinements of existing classification schemes.Ipomoea ser.Setosae is divided into distantly related groups, as is sect.Pharbitis. SeriesTyrianthinae, a proposed segregate of sect.Pharbitis, is associated with sect.Calonyction and the Tricolor complex (subg.Quamoclit).Ipomoea sect.Batatas is segregated from other herbaceous groups of the heterogeneous subg.Quamoclit sensu lato and aligned as a derivative ofI. setosa, subg.Eriospermum. To test for homology of key characters weighted in traditional schemes, morphological features were studied with respect to their distribution on lineages defined by restriction site data. Characters such as setose sepals, foliose-pubescent sepals, and erect growth habit, among others, are interpreted as having multiple origins, while 3-locular ovaries, 4-locular ovaries, and long-haired seeds have evolved only once.
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McDonald, J.A., Mabry, T.J. Phylogenetic systematics of New WorldIpomoea (Convolvulaceae) based on chloroplast DNA restriction site variation. Pl Syst Evol 180, 243–259 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00941155