Phylogenetic relationship of Pakistani species of Carex L. based on matK gene sequence variation

Z. Ullah, M. Ahmad, N. Alam, H. Shaheen, R.I. Milne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Among the largest and taxonomically complex genera of plants, relationship with in Carex at subgeneric and sectional levels is unclear. For this purpose partial DNA sequences of chloroplast matK gene were generated for 11 species of Carex L. and two outgroup taxa i-e Kobresia schoenoides and Kobresia laxa from Pakistan. The sequenced fragments varied from 753 base pairs (bp) to 1360 bp in length, with 15.08% variable and (45) 3.29% parsimony informative sites when the outgroups were included. The aligned sequences were analyzed by maximum parsimony (MP), maximum likelihood (ML), neighbor-joining (NJ) and UPGMA methods using MEGA5. matK was found useful in resolving relationship among subgenera and species of Carex. All the species of subgen. Carex form a clear clade with 98% boostrap support and taxa of subgen. Vignea form a clade with 99% bootstrap support. C. microglochin of the Indocarex appeared as sister to the rest of Carex clades. Position of C. filicina (Primocarex) group cannot be resolved from the present data. C. canescens is sister to the rest of species in subgen. Vignea, while C. foliosa and C. divulsa are monophyletic in this group. The out group Kobresia do not form a clear sister group to Carex, supporting the view that Kobresia may be included in Carex in the future. In the sub-genus Carex, C. atrofusca is sister to the rest of the group, while C. pseudocyperus, and C. songorica forming monophyletic group. Based on these results, delimitation of the species is discussed. The implications of phylogeny for habit preferences and inflorescence structure has also been discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalPakistan Journal of Botany
Issue numberSPL.ISS
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


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