Molecular and karyological data confirm that the enigmatic genus Platypholis from Bonin-Islands (SE Japan) is phylogenetically nested within Orobanche (Orobanchaceae).J Plant Res. 2017 Mar; 130(2):273-280.JP
Molecular phylogenetic studies have greatly improved our understanding of phylogenetic relationships of non-photosynthetic parasitic broomrapes (Orobanche and related genera, Orobanchaceae), but a few genera have remained unstudied. One of those is Platypholis, whose sole species, Platypholis boninsimae, is restricted to the Bonin-Islands (Ogasawara Islands) about 1000 km southeast of Japan. Based on overall morphological similarity, Platypholis has been merged with Orobanche, but this hypothesis has never been tested with molecular data. Employing maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses on a family-wide data set (two plastid markers, matK and rps2, and three nuclear markers, ITS, phyA and phyB) as well as on an ITS data set focusing on Orobanche s. str., it is shown that P. boninsimae Maxim. is phylogenetically closely linked to or even nested within Orobanche s. str. This position is supported both by morphological evidence and by the newly obtained chromosome number of 2n = 38, which is characteristic for the genus Orobanche s. str.