A phylogenetic study and taxonomic revision of the four currently accepted species of Bartonia (Gentianaceae, subtribe Swertiinae) were conducted in order to test species boundaries and interspecific relationships. Species boundaries were examined based on measurements of key quantitative and qualitative morphological characters as given in the original descriptions. Phylogenetic analyses were performed using molecular data from the nuclear internal transcribed spacer region and chloroplast DNA ( trnL intron through the trnL-F spacer), separately and combined using parsimony and Bayesian methodologies, incorporating outgroups from subtribes Swertiinae and Gentianinae. The morphological study revealed that characters of one species, B. texana , represent a subset of the morphological variation found within B. paniculata , but that B . paniculata , B . verna, and B . virginica could all be separated from one another. The molecular phylogenetic analyses all found B. texana to nest in a clade with the two recognized subspecies of B. paniculata (subsp. paniculata and subsp. iodandra ), making the latter paraphyletic. Bartonia texana is here reduced to subspecific rank, as Bartonia paniculata subsp. texana . Also, the phylogenetic analyses showed strong support for a sister group relationship between B. verna and B. virginica , as opposed to between B . paniculata and B . virginica as has been previously suggested.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science
- Internal transcribed spacer
- TrnL intron
- TrnL-F spacer