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The pantropical and poorly known genus Dyschoriste (Acanthaceae) is sister to Strobilanthopsis within subtribe Petalidiinae. The present study included 38 accessions of 28 species as sources of DNA data for one nuclear (nrITS) and four chloroplast (intergenic spacers: psbA-trnH, trnS-trnG, ndhF-rpl32, rpl32- trnL(uag)) regions to provide an estimate of the phylogeny of the genus. We found that Dyschoriste is strongly supported as monophyletic inclusive of Apassalus, Chaetacanthus, and Sautiera. Within Dyschoriste, three geographically cohesive lineages were recovered with moderate to strong support: a mainland African clade, a Caribbean and southeastern United States clade, and a South and Central America clade. A third New World clade composed of accessions from the south central through southwestern US to Mexico is weakly supported and corresponds to the D. linearis species complex recognized by previous researchers (six of the ten taxa putatively part of this complex were sampled). A second Old World clade unites taxa from across the Old World tropics (mainland Africa, Madagascar and southeast Asia). Some aspects of relationships among these main clades were unresolved or not strongly supported, and two Old World taxa, south Asian D. dalzellii and the wide-ranging D. nagchana, were not placed with confidence in any of these clades. The simplest explanation for the current distribution of the genus is that there was a single dispersal event of Dyschoriste from the Old to the New World, with a subsequent radiation in the New World.

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© 2015 Noravit Chumchim

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.