Phylogeny and classification of Leptochloa

Phylogeny and classification of <i>Leptochloa</i>

Phylogeny and classification of Leptochloa

In order to test the evolutionary relationships among species of Leptochloa (spangletop grasses), Peterson et al. conduct a molecular phylogenetic analysis using six DNA markers of 130 warm-season grasses (subfamily Chloridoideae). Twenty-two species of Leptochloa are found in five separate lineages that do not share a single common ancestor. The molecular results support the dissolution of Leptochloa sensu lato into the following five genera: Dinebra with 23 species, Diplachne with two species, Disakisperma with three species, Leptochloa sensu stricto with five species, and a new genus described for the first time, Trigonochloa, with two species. A key based on morphological characteristics is provided to separate the five genera.