Papini, Alessio and Trippanera, Giovanni B. and Maggini, Fabio and Filigheddu, Rossella Speranza and Biondi, Edoardo (2004) New insights in Salicornia L. and allied genera (Chenopodiaceae) inferred from nrDNA sequence data. Plant Biosystems, Vol. 138 (3), p. 215-223. eISSN 1724-5575. Article.
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A phylogenetic analysis was performed based on ITS DNA sequences of fourteen samples from different sources of six species of Salicornia, the three allied genera Arthrocnemum, Sarcocornia and Halocnemum of the same tribe Salicornieae, and other genera of the subfamily Salicornioideae used in previous studies. Bassia hirsuta, Camphorosma monspeliaca (subfamily Chenopodioideae) and four species of Suaeda (subf. Suaedoideae) were chosen as outgroups. Results show that the annual genus Salicornia is a sister group to the perennial genera Sarcocornia, Arthrocnemum and Halocnemum. Moreover, the phylogenetic analysis based on ITS results distinguished two groups of Salicornia species which fitted with ploidy level: one group consisted of diploid species, and the second of tetraploid ones. Sarcocornia and Arthrocnemum are shown to be closely related, even though the species investigated here exhibited an evident distance between their ITS sequences. On the basis of our results, these two genera should be united. Bienertia (already separated as Bienertieae) was confirmed as probable outgroup to the subf. Salicornioideae, while Kalidium (subf. Salicornioideae, tribe Halopeplideae) was an outgroup to the rest of the Salicornioideae (tribe Salicornieae). The group Allenrolfea plus Halocnemum was the most basal of the tribe Salicornieae amongst those investigated in this study. The two samples of Halocnemum strobilaceum used in this work displayed numerous changes (transitions and transversions) in their respective sequences, probably related to their morphological and chorological differentiation. On the basis of our analysis, the most probable basal chromosome number for Salicornieae appears to be 2n = 18. The same number would also be the base number for the annual genus Salicornia and the perennial Arthrocnemum ( + Sarcocornia), with polyploidy arising independently in the two groups.
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