Taxonomic significance of seed characters and SDS-PAGE analysis in the classification of Ericaceae

Document Type : Original Article


Ain Shams University, Faculty of Education, Biology Department


Classification of nineteen taxa, belong to ten genera of family Ericaceae are studied. The study based on macro-, micro-morphological characters of seeds and SDS-PAGE analysis techniques. The phenetic relationships of the studied taxa were expressed by UPGMA-clustering method using NTSYS-pc 2.2 software. The UPGMA phenogram based on 47 characters revealed the separation of two major clusters (A) and (B). Group (A) subdivided into two sub ordinary clusters (AC), expressed subfamily Vaccinoideae, and (AD) which expressed together with main group (B) subfamily Ericoideae. The studied genera are distributed equally between these two subfamilies. Vaccinoideae is represented by five tribes: Vaccinieae, Gaultherieae, Oxydendreae, Lyonieae and Andromedeae. Ericoideae is separated as two clades representing two tribes: (AD) Phyllodoceae and (B) Rhodoreae. The produced hierarchical taxonomic arrangement typically matches the traditional classifications of the family. Clustering of Menziesia pilosa with Rhododendron menziesii in near distance with all Rhododendron taxa confirmed the placement of both genera under tribe Rhodoreae, and supports the transfer of genus Menziesia to be nested in Rhododendron as recommended by some recent cladistics analyses of DNA data.


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