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Phylogenetics of Stelis and closely related genera (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae)


Stelis, one of the largest genera within Pleurothallidinae, was recently recircumscribed to include a few hundred more species, most of which had previously been assigned to Pleurothallis. Here, a new phylogenetic analysis of Stelis and closely related genera based on DNA sequences from nuclear ITS and chloroplast matK, based on a much larger sample, is presented; it includes more than 100 species assigned to Stelis and covers all proposed groupings within the genus, many of which have not previously been represented. Clades are proposed to enable easier discussion of groups of closely related species; each clade is characterized morphologically, ecologically, and geographically to explain the evidence found in the molecular analysis. Discussion of the evolutionary trends of character states found in the genus in its broad sense is given. The current taxonomy of the group is given and the possible taxonomical implications of the findings presented here are discussed.

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We are indebted to J. Wieringa, M. Sosef, and T. Damen at the herbarium Vadense in Wageningen, for access to the collections, for sharing their knowledge, and for their support. We are very grateful to Antonius Sijm and Jacobus Wubben for free access to their collections and their openness. We are very much indebted to Linda Kodde for her collaboration and knowledge on DNA extraction and sequencing; without her this paper would not have been possible. We thank Stephen Kirby and Mark Wilson for revising the manuscript and for their help throughout this study. Hagen Stenzel was kind enough to allow us to use some of his DNA sequences. Diego Bogarín helped with several of the photographs and specimen collections. Federico Albertazzi kindly helped with the sequencing of a few species in his laboratory. We are especially thankful to the scientific services of Costa Rican Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET) and its National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) for issuing the Scientific Passports under which wild species treated in this study were collected. We thank the Vice-Presidency of Research of the University of Costa Rica for providing support under projects 814-A7-015 “Inventario y taxonomía de la flora epífita de la región Mesoamericana”, 814-BO-052, “Flora Costaricensis: Taxonomía y Filogenia de la subtribu Pleurothallidinae (Orchidaceae) en Costa Rica”, and 814-B1-239 “Filogenia molecular de las especies de Orchidaceae endémicas de Costa Rica”. We are grateful to the personnel at CR, INB, JBL, L, USJ, and WAG for granting full access to their collections. Finally, Jorge Warner, director of Lankester Botanical Garden, opened up the living plant collection at JBL to us and helped with transfer of plant material.

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Correspondence to Adam P. Karremans.

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Karremans, A.P., Bakker, F.T., Pupulin, F. et al. Phylogenetics of Stelis and closely related genera (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae). Plant Syst Evol 299, 151–176 (2013).

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  • Stelis
  • Pleurothallidinae
  • Orchidaceae
  • Molecular phylogeny
  • Morphology
  • Evolutionary trends