Species delimitation, phylogenetic relationships and two new species in the Cuscuta gracillima complex (Convolvulaceae). Botany 86: 670-681.
M. Costea, S. Stefanovic
published: 2008 | Research publication | Cuscuta
Basic morphology, scanning electron microscopy, and DNA sequence data from the plastid trnL–F region and the nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions were used to delimit the species of a recently circumscribed clade of Cuscuta (Convolvulaceae) and to investigate their phylogenetic relationships. This clade comprises the Cuscuta gracillima complex from Mexico, Central and northern South America, a group which is characterized by inflorescences that appear to emerge directly from the host stem. Eight lineages are recognized, with two of them described here as new species: C. punana sp. nov. from Ecuador and C. vandevenderi sp. nov. from Mexico. Cuscuta colombiana is redefined to include C. aristeguietae, and C. deltoidea is broadened to encompass C. serruloba. A taxonomic treatment with an identification key, descriptions, and illustrations is provided; the biogeography and conservation status of the eight species are also discussed.
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