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Taxonomic and phylogenetic analysis of Epimedium L. based on amplified fragment length polymorphisms

Zhang, Yanjun, Yang, Lulu, Chen, Jianjun, Sun, Wei, Wang, Ying
Scientia horticulturae 2014 v.170 pp. 284-292
Bayesian theory, Epimedium, amplified fragment length polymorphism, cultivars, germplasm, monophyly, new variety, species diversity, China, Mediterranean region
Epimedium is well known for its ornamental and medicinal value. The genus consists of ca. 58 species disjunctly distributed in the Mediterranean region and eastern Asia, with the highest species diversity concentrated in central-southeastern China. In the present research, we collected 144 accessions from 58 Epimedium species and one accession representing the outgroup Vancouveria hexandra. Using Bayesian analysis, the phylogeny of Epimedium was reconstructed based on amplified fragment length polymorphism data. The dendrogram suggested that two subgenera and four sections of Epimedium were monophyletic. Chinese sect. Diphyllon was divided into five well-supported clades related to flower morphology except that five species were either isolated or formed a general polytomy. The result also well supported the recent morphological revision on E. reticulatum, E. wushanense, E. ilicifolium, E. jinchengshanense, E. simplicifolium, E. chlorandrum, E. brachyrrhizum, and E. dewuense, and provided significant implications for E. sagittatum complex. The present research is of great implication for facilitating the utilization of natural germplasm of Epimedium, especially for further development of new cultivars for ornamental and medicinal purposes.