Comptes rendus de l academie des sciences serie iii-sciences de la vie-life sciences vol:322 issue:6 pages:481-490
The chloroplast trnL (UAA) intron and trnL (UAA)-trnF (GAA) intergenic spacer region have been sequenced from 37 samples, 36 of which representing 19 Stylosanthes species and one from the related genus Zornia. The DNA sequences were used to study phylogenetic relationships in the tropical forage legume genus Stylosanthes, by means of parsimony analysis using the heuristic search method of the computer program PAUP. The resulting cladograms divide Stylosanthes into four separate clades. Within the clades, species are poorly resolved owing to low sequence divergence. Small intra-specific chloroplast DNA variation is observed in S. humilis, S. scabra and the spec ies complex S, guianensis. Variation between S. humilis populations is considered to be geographically structured. The overall results agree well with previously established inter-specific relationships and provide evidence for the genetic origin of the alloploid species S. hamata, S. scabra, S. ingrata, S. sympodialis, S. subsericea, S. capitata and S. fruticosa. This understanding of evolutionary relationships in Stylosanthes, in combination with biogeographical concepts provides a way of discerning isolated habitats in Central and South America, which may therefore contribute to strategies of plant collecting. (C) Academie des sciences / Elsevier, Paris.