Australian Systematic Botany Australian Systematic Botany Society
Taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of plants

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Cytogeography and morphological characterization of a taxonomic-polyploid complex of Mimosa (Leguminosae) from subtropical South America

Matías Morales , Maia Fradkin , Cecilia Bessega , Lidia Poggio , Renée Fortunato


Mimosa subseries Dolentes Barneby and Brevipedes Barneby are ecologically and morphologically high-diversified infrageneric taxa of this genus in southern South America. We performed a cytogenetical and morphological analysis of both subseries. Chromosome numbers from accessions throughout the area of distribution were studied. The chromosome numbers 2n = 8x = 104 for M. dolens subsp. callosa (Benth.) Barneby, M. dolens subsp. acerba varieties acerba (Benth.) Barneby, latifolia (Benth.) Barneby, and rudis (Benth.) Barneby, M. dolens subsp. rigida var. rigescens (Benth.) Barneby, var. anisitsii (Lindm.) Barneby, and var. foliolosa (Benth.) Barneby; and 2n = 4x = 52 for M. sceptrum Barneby, M. aff. custodis Barneby, and M. dolens var. pangloea Barneby are presented for the first time. Their karyotypes were relatively symmetric, with small chromosomes. There were several areas with taxa growing in sympatry, occasionally with intermediate forms. No diploids were found, which suggests the presence of either a declining polyploid complex or ancient polyploidy in the clade of southernmost representatives of M. series Mimosa, the most derived of the genus. Some vegetative, inflorescence and carpological characters seem to be associated with chromosome duplication. The distribution pattern of the cytotypes suggests events of chromosome duplication in centres of origin and expansion of octoploids to the southernmost areas of distribution. Our findings support the importance of the polyploidy in the morphological diversity, distribution and speciation of this complex. Our approach may inform further studies of these polyploid complexes of Mimosa.

SB16033  Accepted 18 January 2018

© CSIRO 2018