Molecular phylogeny of Vincetoxicum (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae) based on the nucleotide sequences of cpDNA and nrDNA

Tadashi Yamashiro, Tatsuya Fukuda, Jun Yokoyama, Masayuki Maki

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular phylogenetic analyses of Vincetoxicum and Tylophora (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae) were conducted based on the nucleotide sequences of cpDNA (two intergenic spacers of trnL (UAA)-trnF (GAA) and psbA-trnH and three introns, i.e., atpF, trnG (UCC) and trnL (UAA)), and nrDNA (ITS and ETS regions). Our phylogenetic analysis revealed two monophyletic groups; one consisted of seven taxa of Tylophora and Vincetoxicum inamoenum, Vincetoxicum magnificum and Vincetoxicum macrophyllum (Clade I) and the other consisted of 17 accessions of Vincetoxicum (Clade II). The monophyly of the genus Vincetoxicum was not supported. Although many nucleotide substitutions were observed in Clade I, the genetic differentiation within Clade II was small. Low genetic diversification but considerable morphological divergence suggests that the species in Clade II had undergone rapid diversification. Although most species in Clade I have tiny flowers, those in Clade II have larger and more nectariferous ones. Thus, we hypothesized that the rapid morphological radiation in Clade II may have been due to the gaining of floral characters such as large flowers and large amounts of nectar corresponding to diverse pollinators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-700
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 May


  • Asclepiadoideae
  • DNA sequences
  • Molecular phylogeny
  • Rapid radiation
  • Vincetoxicum


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