A plastid DNA phylogeny of Dasymaschalon (Annonaceae) and allied genera: Evidence for generic non-monophyly and the parallel evolutionary loss of inner petals

Wang, M.; Thomas, D.C.; Su, Y.; Meinke, S.; Chatrou, L.W.; Saunders, R.M.K.


Dasymaschalon and the closely related genera Desmos, Friesodielsia and Monanthotaxis together comprise ca. 170 species of trees, shrubs and woody climbers distributed in tropical Africa and tropical Asia. These genera form the desmoid clade, which, because of the presence of diverse flower and fruit syndromes including different types of pollination chambers and moniliform monocarps, offers an opportunity to investigate potentially ecologically significant shifts in flower and fruit characters. Despite its morphological diversity, however, generic delimitation within the desmoid clade is problematic and the intergeneric relationships of the constituent genera are only poorly understood. Bayesian, maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony analyses of plastid DNA sequence data ( matK, psbA-trnH, ndhF, rbcL, trnL-F; ca. 5.4 kb; 52 taxa) were used to clarify phylogenetic relationships within the desmoid clade. The evolution and taxonomic utility of selected fruit and flower characters was investigated with likelihood and parsimony ancestral character reconstructions. The results indicate problems in the current delimitations of Dasymaschalon and Friesodielsia. Friesodielsia as currently circumscribed is polyphyletic, with African Friesodielsia species allied to the African genus Monanthotaxis, and only distantly related to Asian representatives. The majority of Dasymaschalon species form a strongly supported clade, but three species are more closely related to Asian species of Friesodielsia. Ancestral character reconstructions indicate that seed number and monocarp shape are of limited value in generic circumscriptions, and that the three-petalled corolla characteristic of Dasymaschalon evolved independently twice within the desmoid clade. Disruptions to homeotic gene expression or strong selective pressure for a partial enclosure of the mature stamens and carpels by the corolla are hypothesised to underlie the parallel evolution of pollination chambers formed by outer petal homologues subsequent to inner petal loss