Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 117, Issue 5, pp 409–419 | Cite as

Molecular phylogeny of Japanese Eleocharis (Cyperaceae) based on ITS sequence data, and chromosomal evolution

  • Okihito Yano
  • Teruo Katsuyama
  • Hiromi Tsubota
  • Takuji HoshinoEmail author
Original Article


ITS sequence data were used to estimate the phylogeny of 24 Japanese Eleocharis species and to make karyomorphological observations on 19 of these taxa. Two major clades were identified in Japanese Eleocharis molecular phylogenetic trees: (1) one including all species of section Limnochloa, and (2) another comprising two sections, Pauciflorae and Eleocharis. Phylogenetic analysis including both Japanese and North American species also shows strong support for monophyly of the Mutatae/Limnochloa clade. The width of the spikelets in the species Mutatae/Limnochloa is the same as that of the culms, indicating that the relative widths of spikelets and culms are useful characteristics for classification. Two major clades were supported by karyomorphological data. All taxa of section Limnochloa had very small chromosomes, while sections Pauciflorae and Eleocharis had large chromosomes. The basic chromosome number of sections Eleocharis and Pauciflorae is thought to be x=5. Chromosomal evolution in the genus Eleocharis with diffuse centromeric chromosomes may be caused by both aneuploidization and polyploidization. Our data suggest that a 3-bp insertion near the 3′ end of the 5.8S gene is useful for intrageneric delimitations of the genus Eleocharis.


Chromosomal evolution Cyperaceae Diffuse centromeric chromosome Eleocharis ITS phylogeny Karyotype 



The authors thank Dr. Marcia J. Waterway for critical review and invaluable comments on the paper. We also thank Dr. Eisuke Hayasaka, Dr. Hiroshi Ikeda, Kisaku Kameyama, Masaaki Komizunai, Dr. Masatsugu Yokota, Satoko Ozaki, Susumu Mitani, and Tomomi Masaki for their great help on field trips and in collecting plant materials.


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer-Verlag  2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Okihito Yano
    • 1
  • Teruo Katsuyama
    • 2
  • Hiromi Tsubota
    • 3
  • Takuji Hoshino
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biosphere-Geosphere System Science, Graduate School of InformaticsOkayama University of ScienceOkayama 700-0005Japan
  2. 2.Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural HistoryKanagawaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Biological Science, Graduate School of ScienceHiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan

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