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Molecular phylogenetics of the genus Costularia (Schoeneae, Cyperaceae) reveals multiple distinct evolutionary lineages

Larridon, Isabel, Bauters, Kenneth, Semmouri, Ilias, Viljoen, Jan-Adriaan, Prychid, Christina J., Muasya, A. Muthama, Bruhl, Jeremy J., Wilson, Karen L., Senterre, Bruno, Goetghebeur, Paul
Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 2018 v.126 pp. 196-209
Bayesian theory, Oreobolus, fossils, models, monophyly, new genus, statistical analysis, Africa, Madagascar, New Caledonia, Seychelles
We investigated the monophyly of Costularia (25 species), a genus of tribe Schoeneae (Cyperaceae) that illustrates a remarkable distribution pattern from southeastern Africa, over Madagascar, the Mascarenes and Seychelles, to Malesia and New Caledonia. A further species, Tetraria borneensis, has been suggested to belong to Costularia. Relationships and divergence times were inferred using an existing four marker phylogeny of Cyperaceae tribe Schoeneae expanded with newly generated sequence data mainly for Costularia s.l. species. Phylogenetic reconstruction was executed using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood approaches. Divergence times were estimated using a relaxed molecular clock model, calibrated with fossil data. Based on our results, Tetraria borneensis is not related to the species of Costularia. Costularia s.l. is composed of four distinct evolutionary lineages. Two lineages, one including the type species, are part of the Oreobolus clade, i.e. a much reduced genus Costularia restricted to southeastern Africa, Madagascar, the Mascarenes and Seychelles, and a small endemic genus from New Caledonia for which a new genus Chamaedendron is erected based on Costularia subgenus Chamaedendron. The other two lineages are part of the Tricostularia clade, i.e. a separate single-species lineage from the Seychelles for which a new genus (Xyroschoenus) is described, and Costularia subgenus Lophoschoenus. For the latter, more research is needed to test whether they are congeneric with the species placed in the reticulate-sheathed Tetraria clade.