Pollinators underestimated: A molecular phylogeny reveals widespread floral convergence in oil-secreting orchids (sub-tribe Coryciinae) of the Cape of South Africa

Waterman R.J. ; Pauw A. ; Barraclough T.G. ; Savolainen V. (2009)


The oil-secreting orchids of southern Africa belong to the sub-tribe Coryciinae within Diseae. A phylogeny of Diseae is inferred using sequence data from all genera in the tribe, with an emphasis on resolving generic classifications within Coryciinae. Nuclear (ITS) and plastid (trnLF and matK) gene region sequences were analysed for 79 ingroup taxa and three outgroup taxa. Coryciinae is confirmed to be diphyletic, with Disperis and Coryciinae sensu stricto (s.s.) forming separate monophyletic clades. The current genera Corycium and Pterygodium are not monophyletic according to our analysis and we propose a subdivision of Coryciinae s.s. into 10 monophyletic clades including three monotypic groups. Previous generic classifications of Coryciinae s.s. have been hampered by convergent evolution of floral parts, a consequence of few pollinator species and limited pollinia attachment sites in the oil-bee pollination system common to this group. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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