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      Molecular taxonomy of Camellia (Theaceae) inferred from nrITS sequences.

      American journal of botany

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          Abstract

          Camellia, comprising more than 200 species, is the type genus of the family Theaceae. Currently, the interspecies relationship of the economically important genus is still a matter of great debate and controversy. In an attempt to help settle this dispute using molecular phylogeny, we analyzed ITS sequences of 112 species of Camellia. The maximum parsimony and Bayesian trees grouped these species into eight major clades and four isolates. The current study supported the monophyly of sections Thea and Furfuracea, a merged section of Theopsis and Eriandra and the formation of section Oleifera by H, -t. Chang (Flora of Reipulicae Popularis Sinicae. Tomus 49 (3), Science Press, China). The study suggested the polyphyletic nature of the sections Camellia, Paracamellia, Pseudocamellia, and Tuberculata and the paraphyletic nature of the section Chrysantha but did not support the sectional status of the three small sections, Archecamellia, Piquetia, and Sterocarpus. We also discuss the results in terms of morphology, geographic distribution and the results from an earlier molecular phylogeny analysis.

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          Journal
          21628283
          10.3732/ajb.0800205

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