Original paper

Phylogeny and classification of the genus Ribes (Grossulariaceae) based on 5S-NTS sequences and morphological and anatomical data

Weigend, Maximilian; Mohr, Oliver; Motley, Timothy J.


The phylogeny and classification of the genus Ribes is studied on the basis of 5S-NTS sequences obtained from 39 species (41 accessions) representing 5 of the 6 subgenera and most sections recognized in the genus. Cladistic analysis resolves 6 well supported major clades: the golden currants (Ribes subg. Coreosma sect. Symphocalyx = Ribes subg. Symphocalyx, which are then used as the outgroup), the black currants (Ribes subg. Coreosma sect. Coreosma = Ribes subg. Coreosma s.str.), the ornamental currants (Ribes subg. Coreosma sect. Calobotrya + Ribes subg. Coreosma sect. Cerophyllum = Ribes subg. Calobotrya), the gooseberries (Ribes subg. Grossularia), the South American currants (Ribes subg. Parilla) and a morphologically well defined but poorly supported (< 50% bs) red currant clade (Ribes subg. Ribes) which also includes the skunk currants (Ribes subg. Coreosma sect. Heritiera) and the alpine currants (Ribes subg. Berisia). Most of these clades are well defined units on the basis of morphology, ecology, and distribution and are largely congruent with earlier classifications, apart from changes in the relationships among groups. Most sections are retrieved as natural units (as far as can be judged from the limited sampling), with the only exception of Ribes subg. Coreosma sect. Cerophyllum, which is nested in Ribes subg. Calobotrya and should be taxonomically synonymized. Dioecy seems to have arisen twice, once in South American subg. Parilla and once in Eurasian subg. Berisia, the morphological differences between their unisexual flowers are briefly discussed.