J Plant Res 2005 Aug 16;118(4):271-84. Epub 2005 Jul 16.
Department of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
We conducted phylogenetic analyses using two DNA sequence data sets derived from matK, the maturase-coding gene located in an intron of the plastid gene trnK, and the internal transcribed spacer region of 18S-26S nuclear ribosomal DNA to examine relationships in subtribe Aeridinae (Orchidaceae). Specifically, we investigated (1) phylogenetic relationships among genera in the subtribe, (2) the congruence between previous classifications of the subtribe and the phylogenetic relationships inferred from the molecular data, and (3) evolutionary trends of taxonomically important characters of the subtribe, such as pollinia, a spurred lip, and a column foot. In all, 75 species representing 62 genera in subtribe Aeridinae were examined. Our analyses provided the following insights: (1) monophyly of subtribe Aeridinae was tentatively supported in which 14 subclades reflecting phylogenetic relationships can be recognized, (2) results are inconsistent with previous classifications of the subtribe, and (3) repeated evolution of previously emphasized characters such as pollinia number and apertures, length of spur, and column foot was confirmed. It was found that the inconsistencies are mainly caused by homoplasy of these characters. At the genus level, Phalaenopsis, Cleisostoma, and Sarcochilus are shown to be non-monophyletic.