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Citation for Study 1370

About Citation title: "The Molecular Systematics of Rhododendron (Ericaceae): A Phylogeny based upon RPB2 Gene Sequences".
About This study was previously identified under the legacy study ID S1244 (Status: Published).


Goetsch L., Eckert A., & Hall B. 2005. The Molecular Systematics of Rhododendron (Ericaceae): A Phylogeny based upon RPB2 Gene Sequences. Systematic Botany, null.


  • Goetsch L.
  • Eckert A.
  • Hall B.


Classification of Rhododendron species based on morphology has led to a consensus taxonomy recognizing the major subgenera Azaleastrum, Hymenanthes, Pentanthera, Rhododendron, Tsutsusi and three minor ones. To determine whether these subgenera are monophyletic and to infer phylogenetic relationships between Rhododendron sections and species, we carried out a cladistic analysis using molecular data, including all groups within the genus. For this purpose, we sequenced a large part of the nuclear gene RPB2-I, encoding a major RNA Polymerase II subunit, from 87 species and analyzed the data by maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods. The resulting phylogenies show subgenera Azaleastrum and Pentanthera to be polyphyletic and group all Rhododendron species (except the two in section Therorhodion) into three large clades. Based upon these results, a modified system of Rhododendron classification is proposed, consolidating minor subgenera that are related and recognizing monophyletic subgenera.

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