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

Molecular systematics of Australian Calotis (Asteraceae: Astereae)

K. Watanabe A C , K. Kosuge A , R. Shimamura A , N. Konishi A and K. Taniguchi B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kobe University, Kobe, 657-8501, Japan.

B Laboratory of Plant Chromosome and Gene Stock, Faculty of Science, Hiroshima University, 1-4-1 Kagamiyama, Higashihiroshima, 739-8526, Japan.

C Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Systematic Botany 19(2) 155-168
Submitted: 13 December 2004  Accepted: 21 November 2005   Published: 28 April 2006


The intra-generic relationships of the Australian genus Calotis, with various chromosome base numbers from x = 8 to x = 4, were examined by the comparison of nucleotide sequences of the complete ITS region of nuclear rDNA and of the matK gene of chloroplast DNA. Within a monophyletic Calotis, four lineages were identified. Reconstruction of ancestral states suggests that the chromosome base number for Calotis is x = 8. Dysploidal reductions in chromosome base number from x = 8 to x = 7 and from x = 8 to x = 5 or 4 have occurred independently at least three times. Lower base numbers of x = 7, 5, and 4 are found predominantly in the arid and semi-arid zone species of Central and Western Australia. Total karyotypic length (genome size) is greater in perennials than in annuals within the genus Calotis. The elaborated pappus and surface structures of cypsela, and life form of species seem to be homoplasous with multiple origins in the evolutionary history of the lineage.


We are indebted to Dr P. S. Short of the Herbarium of the Northern Territory for field collection and identification of plant materials. We thank Dr J. Ross and the staff of the National Herbarium of Victoria for giving us the opportunity to study the herbarium specimens at MEL. Thanks also go to two anonymous reviewers for revising the English of the manuscript. This study was supported by Grant-in-Aid for International Scientific Research (Field Research), Nos. 07041140 and 08041149 and Scientific Research Nos. 08640887 and 10836013 from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Japan.


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