J Syst Evol ›› 2018, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (1): 48-55.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12285

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Phylogenetic placement of Yunnanopilia (Opiliaceae) inferred from molecular and morphological data

Liu Yang, Guan-Song Yang, Hai-Ying Ma, Yue-Hua Wang*, and Shi-Kang Shen*   

  1. School of Life Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
  • Received:2017-04-27 Published:2018-01-12

Abstract: Yunnanopilia longistaminea (W.Z. Li) C.Y. Wu & D.Z. Li, which is a controversial species in Opiliaceae, is treated as a variety of Champereia manillana (Blume) Merrill in the Flora of China and morphological analysis has produced conflicting results regarding its affinity to Melientha and Champereia. To determine the systematic position of Yunnanopilia in Opiliaceae, we selected two nuclear regions (internal transcribed spacer [ITS4-ITS5] and 18S rDNA) and four chloroplast regions (rbcL, matK, psbA-trnH, and trnS-trnG) to test the phylogenetics of the family Opiliaceae using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analysis. Morphological characteristics were also examined to clarify the similarities and differences among Y. longistaminea and two closely related species. Agonandra was located at the basal position in the family Opiliaceae; in the large clade including other remaining genera, two main clades were clearly identified and correlated with inflorescence morphological characteristics. All samples of Y. longistaminea formed a clade. Yunnanopilia, Melientha, and Champereia were more closely related than other genera of Opiliaceae. Yunnanopilia longistaminea was sister to M. suavis Pierre and was more closely related to M. suavis than to C. manillana. Morphological analysis also showed that differences in the inflorescences and flowers between Y. longistaminea and M. suavis were substantial enough to warrant the retention of Y. longistaminea in its current genus. Thus, we suggest that the monotypic Yunnanopilia be treated as a distinct genus and that the name Y. longistaminea should be adopted.

Key words: molecular phylogeny, monotypic genus, morphological analysis, phylogenetic placement, Yunnanopilia longistaminea