|Year of Publication:
|J. C. Barber, Francisco-Ortega, J., Santos-Guerra, A., Turner, K. G., Jansen, R. K.
|Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
|Biological Evolution, Cell Nucleus, Chloroplasts, DNA: Intergenic, DNA: Ribosomal, Genetic Variation, Introns, Phylogeny, Portugal, Sideritis, Spain
Sideritis L. (Lamiaceae) comprises approximately 150 species of annuals and perennials distributed chiefly in the Mediterranean region. The majority of the species belong to the continental subgenus Sideritis which is divided into two perennial (Sideritis and Empedoclea) and two annual (Hesiodia and Burgsdorfia) sections. Twenty-three species are woody perennials endemic to the Macaronesian archipelagos of Madeira and the Canary Islands. In an effort to determine the continental origin of the insular group, we constructed independent phylogenies comprising sequence data from both chloroplast and nuclear markers. Sampling included 7 island taxa drawn from the Macaronesian subgenus Marrubiastrum and 25 continental taxa representing all four sections of subgenus Sideritis. Subgenus Marrubiastrum and the two continental perennial sections form well-supported monophyletic groups in both individual and combined analyses. The annual sections are not monophyletic in any analysis; further sampling of annual taxa is needed to resolve these relationships. All analyses identified Sideritis cossoniana, an annual species from Morocco, as the closest continental relative of the Macaronesian group. This contrasts with the hypothesis of earlier workers who suggested that the insular taxa were most closely related to eastern Mediterranean species of the genus. The phylogenies also demonstrate a distinct increase in woodiness among the Macaronesian species relative to their continental congeners, providing further support for the secondary nature of woodiness in island plants.