Transfer of Dodecatheon to Primula (Primulaceae)


Phylogenies inferred from both chloroplast and nuclear DNA regions have placed the small genusDodecatheon (the shooting stars; 17 spp.) among the descendants of the most recent common ancestor ofPrimula (the primroses; ca. 430 spp.). This is congruent with conclusions previously derived from morphology and cytology. We illustrate how failure to formalize this information in the circumscription ofPrimula might have impeded understanding of the evolution of distyly (as seen inPrimula) and buzz-pollination (as seen inDodecatheon). To avoid future confusion, we make new combinations forDodecatheon inPrimula, and erectPrimula sect. Dodecatheon inPrimula subgenusAuriculastrum for the taxa fromDodecatheon.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Literature Cited

  1. Barrett, S. C. H. 1992. Evolution and function of heterostyly. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

    Google Scholar 

  2. —, 2002 The evolution of plant sexual diversity. Nature Genetics 3 274–284.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Darwin, C. 1877. The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. John Murray, London.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Grey-Wilson, C. 1989. The genusDionysia. Alpine Garden Society, Woking UK.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Holmgren, N. H. 1994. Redefinition ofDodecatheon dentatum (Primulaceae) and rationale for use of varietal rank. Brittonia 46: 87–94.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Källersjö, M., G. Bergqvist &A. A. Anderberg. 2000. Generic realignment in primuloid families of the Ericales s.l.: A phylogenetic analysis base on DNA sequences from three chloroplast genes and morphology. American Journal of Botany 87: 1325–1341.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Martins, L., C. Oberprieler &F.H. Hellwig. 2003. A phylogenetic analysis of Primulaceae s.l. based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) DNA sequence data. Plant Systematics and Evolution 237: 75–85.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Mast, A. R., S. Kelso, A. J. Richards, D. J. Lang, D. M. S. Feller &E. Conti. 2001: Phylogenetic relationships inPrimula L. and related genera (Primulaceae) based on noncoding chloroplast DNA. International Journal of Plant Science 162: 1381–1400.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Mast, A. R., D. M. S. Feller, S. Kelso &E. Conti. 2004. Buzz-pollinatedDodecatheon originated from within the heterostylousPrimula subgenusAuriculastrum (Primulaceae): A 7-region cpDNa phylogeny and its implications for floral evolution. American Journal of Botany 91: 926–942.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Mast, A. R., S. Kelso &E. Conti. 2006. Are any primroses (Primula) primitively monomorphic? New Phytologist 171: 605–616.

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Pax, F. 1889. Primulaceae.In: A. Engler & K. A. E. von Prantl (eds.) Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien IV. 1: 98–116. Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Richards, A. J. 1993.Primula. 1st ed. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Richards, A. J. 2002.Primula, 2nd ed. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Slowinski J. B. &R. D. M. Page. 1999. How should species phylogenies be inferred from sequence data? Systematic Biology 48: 814–825.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Thompson, H. J. 1953. The biosystematics ofDodecatheon. Contributions from the Dudley Herbarium 4: 73–154.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Trift, I., M. Källersjö &A. A. Anderberg. 2002. The monophyly ofPrimula (Primulaceae) evaluated by analysis of sequences from the chloroplast generbcL. Systematic Botany 27: 396–407.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Trift, I., M. Lidén &A. A. Anderberg 2004. Phylogeny and biogeography ofDionysia (Primulaceae). International Journal of Plant Science 165: 845–860.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Wendelbo, P. 1961. Studies in Primulaceae III: On the genera related toPrimula with special reference to their pollen morphology. Årbok for Universitetet i Bergen. Matematisk-Naturvitenskapelig Serie 19: 1–31.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Austin R. Mast or James L. Reveal.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mast, A.R., Reveal, J.L. Transfer of Dodecatheon to Primula (Primulaceae). Brittonia 59, 79–82 (2007).[79:TODTPP]2.0.CO;2

Download citation

Key words

  • Buzz-pollination
  • distyly
  • Dodecatheon
  • heterostyly
  • Primula
  • Primulaceae