Phylogenetics of 33 species (35 species in the ITS analysis) of the Thamnocalamus group and its allies inferred from partial sequences of the nuclear GBSSI gene and from those of the nuclear ribosomal ITS spacer was discussed in the present paper. The analyses of two separate data and combined data sets were performed using the parsimony method. Two species from Arundinaria and Acidosasa were used as outgroups. All three analyses supported the monophyly of the Thamnocalamus group and its allies, which have pachymorph rhizomes and semelauctant synflorescences with three stamens. The two sampled species of Chimonocalamus were resolved as a strongly supported monophyletic group and as basal in the Thamnocalamus group and its allies in the ITS and combined analyses. The resolution of the Thamnocalamus group and its allies in the GBSSI-gene-based tree was generally poor, while the gene still identified some clades with strongly internal supports, i.e., the Chimonocalamus clade, the Ampelocalamus clade, the clade of Thamnocalamus spathiflorus and its variety, that of Fargesia porphyrea and Yushania bojieana, and the clade of Fargesia edulis and Fargesia fungosa. The topology resulting from the GBSSI and ITS combined data analysis had a better resolution than those from the two separate data sets. T. spathiflorus and its variety comprised another strongly supported basal clade and may be next to the Chimonocalamus clade. The positions of the African Thamnocalamus tessellatus and Arundinaria (Yushania) alpina, and the monotypic Chinese endemic Gaoligongshania were problematic. The Thamnocalamus group per se was resolved as polyphyletic. Most species of Fargesia and Yushania formed a group with no bootstrap support. This assemblage was heterogeneous according to the morphological characters and further investigation is needed. This study implicated that the current limitation of three genera of Thamnocalamus, Fargesia (incl. Borinda) and Yushania may not reflect the true phylogenetic relationships of the complex. The phylogenetic utility of GBSSI gene in closely related woody bamboos was also evaluated. © 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
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