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Spangler, Russell Edwin
Donoghue, Michael J.
Harvard University Press
Theses - Dissertation
The generic concept for
is tested using molecular sequence data from the chloroplast gene
and the nuclear gene waxy. Forty species from the grass tribe Andropogoneae were sequenced for
did not form a monophyletic group due to the inclusion of members of subtribe Saccharinae. Three
lineages were resolved, and are consistently recovered in molecular datasets, including some analyzed by other researchers. Length-variable regions of sequence from
introns were used to attempt to resolve relationships among the lineages. Methods to explore alignments of length-variable regions to avoid misleading results are discussed. Traditional subgeneric classifications were not supported by the data, particularly concerning subgenera
. Morphological features of the leaf epidermis were examined to identify diagnostic features of
taxa, and to find characters that helped define the three molecular based clades of
Descriptions of leaf epidermal characters were generated and can be used via an interactive key generated by the DELTA program. Alternative classification schemes are proposed, contrasting the traditional Linnean-based naming system with the developing concept of rankless names. Three genera are proposed to reflect our actual knowledge of clades composed of
taxa. Descriptions of taxa with distributions and notes are provided following a classification scheme that treats three separate genera.
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