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The internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA was sequenced from 195 representative species of Allium, two species of Nothoscordum, and one species each of lpheion, Dichelostemma, and Tulbaghia. Within the Allium species the lengths of the ITS regions were in a range from 612 to 661 base pairs and pairwise genetic distances reached up to 46%. The ITS data supported the inclusion of Nectaroscordum, Caloscordum, and Milula into Allium. Subgenera Rhizirideum and Allium, as well as sects. Reticulatobulbosa and Oreiprason were non-monophyletic taxa. Based on the phylogenetic relations, a new classification of genus Allium consisting of 15 monophyletic subgenera is presented. Sections Microscordum, Anguinum, Porphyroprason, Vvedenskya, Butomissa, Cyathophora, and Reticulatobulbosa are raised to subgeneric rank. Sections Austromontana N. Friesen, Eduardia N. Friesen, Mediasia F. O. Khassanov, S. C. Yengalycheva et N. Friesen, Nigrimontana N. Friesen, Falcatifolia N. Friesen, and Condensatum N. Friesen are newly described. Series Daghestanica, Pallasia, and Scabriscapa, as well as subsects. Eremoprasum, Longivaginata, and Sikkimensia are raised to sectional rank. A taxonomic conspectus of Allium at sectional level is given.

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© 2006 Nikolai Friesen, Reinhard M. Fritsch, Frank R. Blatiner

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