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Parasyncalathium J.W. Zhang, Boufford & H. Sun (Asteraceae, Cichorieae): A New Genus Endemic to the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains
source:Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, CAS     author:ZHANG Jianwen     2011-12-20

A new Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains endemic genus, Parasyncalathium (Asteraceae, Cichorieae, Lactucinae) is described. Parasyncalathium is based on Syncalathium souliei, originally placed in Lactuca sect. Aggregatae, as L. souliei, then later moved to Syncalathium.

Previous published evidence from cytology, molecular phylogeny, and morphology, and especially SEM of cypsela morphology in the present study confirm the difference between Syncalathium souliei and Syncalathium s.str., the latter including the type species of the genus, S. kawaguchii. Syncalathium s.str. should be placed in subtribe Crepidinae (Asteraceae, Cichorieae); S. souliei, although distinct from other members of the subtribe, remains in Lactucinae where it groups within Lactuca s.l. in the tree topology. The convergent evolution of Syncalathium and Parasyncalathium is correlated with climatic change and fragmentation of scree habitats during the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau. This results have been reported in Taxon (2011, (60) 6: 1678–1684).


This study was supported by grants-in-aid from the National 973 Project of China (2007CB411602), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, 40930209, 31000101), the Research Program from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2007FY110100), the Yunnan Natural Science Foundation (2008CC013), the Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KSCX2-YW-Z-1019), and the National Science Foundation, U.S.A. (DEB-0321846 to D.E. Boufford).

Morphological diversity of Parasyncalathium souliei (Franch.) J.W. Zhang, Boufford & H. Sun. (image by ZHANG Jianwen)

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