PADGETT, DONALD J.1 and DONALD H. LES2.* 1Department of Biological Sciences, Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA 02325; 2Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269. - Preliminary phylogenetic studies in the Menyanthaceae.
The Menyanthaceae are a relatively small family of aquatic and
semi-aquatic flowering herbs with a center of diversity in Australia.
The five genera comprising the family are Menyanthes,
Fauria, Liparophyllum, Nymphoides, and
Villarsia, and are often cultivated as ornamentals.
Evolutionary patterns within the Menyanthaceae remain unclear despite
previous studies utilizing anatomy, flavonoid, seed, and pollen
morphology data. Parsimony analyses of rbcL sequences strongly
resolve two major lineages within the family. These results portray a
close relationship between the monotypic Menyanthes and
Fauria, both of the Northern Hemisphere. The other clade
depicts a strong alliance between Nymphoides, Villarsia,
and Liparophyllum. The positioning of the monotypic
Liparophyllum within a clade of Nymphoides species
implies the present recognition of this Tasmanian-New Zealand endemic
at the generic level may be unwarranted.
Key words: Menyanthaceae, phylogeny