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1.  Systematics of Disakisperma (Poaceae, Chloridoideae, Chlorideae) 
PhytoKeys  2013;21-70.
Disakisperma Steud. is a genus of four predominantly perennial C4 (NAD-ME) species in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Its species previously were treated in Eleusine, Eragrostis, Coelachyrum, Cypholepis, Leptochloa, or Diplachne by nearly all authors.It includes the widespread North and South American amphitropical disjunct Disakisperma dubium (type of the genus), Disakisperma eleusine from southern Africa, Disakisperma obtusiflorum from central and northern Africa to southern Asia, and Disakisperma yemenicum, comb. nov. from eastern and southern Africa to Yemen. This paper provides a key to the species, geographic distributions, descriptions, including comments on the anatomy of leaves, stems, lemmatal micromorphology, a phylogram based on five molecular markers, and discussions of chromosome numbers. The species are rarely, if at all, known outside of their native ranges and are unlikely to become aggressively invasive. All species are considered Least Concern following IUCN guidelines. Lectotypes are designated for Diplachne dubia var. pringleana Kuntze, Disakisperma mexicana Steud., Eragrostis yemenica Schweinf., and Leptochloa appletonii Stapf.
PMCID: PMC3817421  PMID: 24194669
Conservation; Coelachyrum; Cypholepis; Disakisperma; grasses; ITS; leaf anatomy; lectotypification; Leptochloa; phylogeny; plastid DNA sequences; stem anatomy; systematics; taxonomy; Thysanoptera
2.  Revision of Poa L. (Poaceae, Pooideae, Poeae, Poinae) in Mexico: new records, re-evaluation of P. ruprechtii, and two new species, P. palmeri and P. wendtii  
PhytoKeys  2012;1-104.
A revision and key to the 23 species and eight subspecies of Poa (including Dissanthelium) known to occur in Mexico is provided. All voucher specimens seen are cited for accepted taxa, except Poa annua for which one voucher per state is provided. Taxa not previously known from, or poorly understood in, Mexico are discussed.Poa palmeri sp. nov. is endemic to forested slopes of the Sierra Madre Oriental, and we distinguished it from Poa ruprechtii s.s., a species of central Mexico that is here emended to include Poa sharpii (syn. nov.). Poa wendtii sp. nov. is described from the Sierra Santa Rosa in northern Coahuila. Poa tacanae is placed in synonymy in Poa seleri. Poa gymnantha and Poa occidentalis are newly reported for Mexico, and material historically identified as Poa villaroelii areplaced in Poa chamaeclinos.The genus Dissanthelium is considered to belong within Poa, and the Mexican taxa, Dissanthelium calycina subsp. mathewsii and Dissanthelium californicum, are treated as Poa calycina var. mathewsii and Poa thomasii, respectively. Poa subsect. Papillopoa subsect. nov. is erected for Poa mulleri. Lectotypes are designated for Poa conglomerata and Poa seleri.
PMCID: PMC3492929  PMID: 23185125
Mexico; Poa; Poaceae; taxonomy
3.  Infrageneric Phylogeny and Temporal Divergence of Sorghum (Andropogoneae, Poaceae) Based on Low-Copy Nuclear and Plastid Sequences 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104933.
The infrageneric phylogeny and temporal divergence of Sorghum were explored in the present study. Sequence data of two low-copy nuclear (LCN) genes, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase 4 (Pepc4) and granule-bound starch synthase I (GBSSI), from 79 accessions of Sorghum plus Cleistachne sorghoides together with those from outgroups were used for maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) analyses. Bayesian dating based on three plastid DNA markers (ndhA intron, rpl32-trnL, and rps16 intron) was used to estimate the ages of major diversification events in Sorghum. The monophyly of Sorghum plus Cleistachne sorghoides (with the latter nested within Sorghum) was strongly supported by the Pepc4 data using BI analysis, and the monophyly of Sorghum was strongly supported by GBSSI data using both ML and BI analyses. Sorghum was divided into three clades in the Pepc4, GBSSI, and plastid phylograms: the subg. Sorghum lineage; the subg. Parasorghum and Stiposorghum lineage; and the subg. Chaetosorghum and Heterosorghum lineage. Two LCN homoeologous loci of Cleistachne sorghoides were first discovered in the same accession. Sorghum arundinaceum, S. bicolor, S. x drummondii, S. propinquum, and S. virgatum were closely related to S. x almum in the Pepc4, GBSSI, and plastid phylograms, suggesting that they may be potential genome donors to S. almum. Multiple LCN and plastid allelic variants have been identified in S. halepense of subg. Sorghum. The crown ages of Sorghum plus Cleistachne sorghoides and subg. Sorghum are estimated to be 12.7 million years ago (Mya) and 8.6 Mya, respectively. Molecular results support the recognition of three distinct subgenera in Sorghum: subg. Chaetosorghum with two sections, each with a single species, subg. Parasorghum with 17 species, and subg. Sorghum with nine species and we also provide a new nomenclatural combination, Sorghum sorghoides.
PMCID: PMC4133246  PMID: 25122516
4.  Systematics of Trigonochloa (Poaceae, Chloridoideae, Chlorideae)  
PhytoKeys  2012;25-38.
A systematic treatment including descriptions and a key for identification is provided for the two species of Trigonochloa, a genus recently segregated from the polyphyletic Leptochloa s.l. Trigonochloa ranges from southern Africa east to India and Sri Lanka, reflecting the widely ranging Trigonochloa uniflora. Trigonochloa rupestris has a more limited distribution from East Africa to Yemen. Trigonochloa is diagnosable from other chloridoid grasses based on its unusually flaccid and membranous leaves that have uniquely enlarged lateral cells in the parenchyma sheath surrounding the vascular bundles in Trigonochloa uniflora (unconfirmed for Trigonochloa rupestris given limited material), primary and secondary vascular bundles that do not project above or below in fresh material, XyMS+ leaf anatomy, narrow spicate primary inflorescence branches, spikelets with one (or rarely two) florets, thinly membranous to hyaline lemmas, and a trigonous caryopses that bear a narrow but deep sulcus on the hilar side. Lectotypes are designated for Agrostis montana and Cynodon gracilis. The synonym Leptochloa laurentii De Wild. is confirmed for Trigonochloa uniflora.
PMCID: PMC3391715  PMID: 22787425
Conservation; Leptochloa; leptotypification; Poaceae; systematics; taxonomy
5.  A molecular phylogeny and classification of Leptochloa (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Chlorideae) sensu lato and related genera 
Annals of Botany  2012;109(7):1317-1330.
Background and Aims
Leptochloa (including Diplachne) sensu lato (s.l.) comprises a diverse assemblage of C4 (NAD-ME and PCK) grasses with approx. 32 annual or perennial species. Evolutionary relationships and a modern classification of Leptochloa spp. based on the study of molecular characters have only been superficially investigated in four species. The goals of this study were to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Leptochloa s.l. with molecular data and broad taxon sampling.
A phylogenetic analysis was conducted of 130 species (mostly Chloridoideae), of which 22 are placed in Leptochloa, using five plastid (rpL32-trn-L, ndhA intron, rps16 intron, rps16-trnK and ccsA) and the nuclear ITS 1 and 2 (ribosomal internal transcribed spacer regions) to infer evolutionary relationships and revise the classification.
Key results
Leptochloa s.l. is polyphyletic and strong support was found for five lineages. Embedded within the Leptochloa sensu stricto (s.s.) clade are two Trichloris spp. and embedded in Dinebra are Drake-brockmania and 19 Leptochloa spp.
The molecular results support the dissolution of Leptochloa s.l. into the following five genera: Dinebra with 23 species, Diplachne with two species, Disakisperma with three species, Leptochloa s.s. with five species and a new genus, Trigonochloa, with two species.
PMCID: PMC3359928  PMID: 22628365
Classification; Dinebra; Diplachne; Disakisperma; Drake-brockmania; ITS; Leptochloa; phylogeny; plastid DNA sequences; Poaceae; Trichloris; Trigonochloa
6.  Allotetraploid origin and divergence in Eleusine (Chloridoideae, Poaceae): evidence from low-copy nuclear gene phylogenies and a plastid gene chronogram 
Annals of Botany  2011;108(7):1287-1298.
Background and Aims Eleusine
(Poaceae) is a small genus of the subfamily Chloridoideae exhibiting considerable morphological and ecological diversity in East Africa and the Americas. The interspecific phylogenetic relationships of Eleusine are investigated in order to identify its allotetraploid origin, and a chronogram is estimated to infer temporal relationships between palaeoenvironment changes and divergence of Eleusine in East Africa.
Two low-copy nuclear (LCN) markers, Pepc4 and EF-1α, were analysed using parsimony, likelihood and Bayesian approaches. A chronogram of Eleusine was inferred from a combined data set of six plastid DNA markers (ndhA intron, ndhF, rps16-trnK, rps16 intron, rps3, and rpl32-trnL) using the Bayesian dating method.
Key Results
The monophyly of Eleusine is strongly supported by sequence data from two LCN markers. In the cpDNA phylogeny, three tetraploid species (E. africana, E. coracana and E. kigeziensis) share a common ancestor with the E. indica–E. tristachya clade, which is considered a source of maternal parents for allotetraploids. Two homoeologous loci are isolated from three tetraploid species in the Pepc4 phylogeny, and the maternal parents receive further support. The A-type EF-1α sequences possess three characters, i.e. a large number of variations of intron 2; clade E-A distantly diverged from clade E-B and other diploid species; and seven deletions in intron 2, implying a possible derivation through a gene duplication event. The crown age of Eleusine and the allotetraploid lineage are 3·89 million years ago (mya) and 1·40 mya, respectively.
The molecular data support independent allotetraploid origins for E. kigeziensis and the E. africana–E. coracana clade. Both events may have involved diploids E. indica and E. tristachya as the maternal parents, but the paternal parents remain unidentified. The habitat-specific hypothesis is proposed to explain the divergence of Eleusine and its allotetraploid lineage.
PMCID: PMC3197458  PMID: 21880659
Allotetraploid origin; chloroplast markers; East Africa; Eleusine; low-copy nuclear markers; phylogeny; Poaceae

Results 1-6 (6)