The genus Mcneillia has been recently segregated from Minuartia L. based on molecular results, also supported by morphology. However, to date, a comprehensive study on the phylogenetic relationships within this genus is lacking. In this paper, we provide a multigene phylogeny of all the species and subspecies of Mcneillia employing two nuclear and six chloroplast markers. We documented extensive gene flow between taxa, sometimes separated at specific rank. In addition, Mcneillia as currently circumscribed, is not monophyletic. In fact, Mcneillia graminifolia subsp. brachypetala, strictly endemic to Greece, truly belongs to Minuartiella, a genus otherwise limited to South-West Asia. Moreover, even after removal of this taxon, our results do not support the monophyly of the taxa included in M. graminifolia s.l., the most variable and widespread species of the genus. Further controversial subspecies of Mcneillia graminifolia, i.e., subsp. hungarica and subsp. rosanoi, are shown to deserve taxonomic recognition as separate species, whereas Mc. moraldoi is not distinct at specific rank. In addition, Mc. saxifraga subsp. tmolea is here regarded as a further distinct species. A consistent taxonomic treatment is therefore proposed with six new combinations and nomenclatural notes, providing the necessary typifications.
De Luca, Daniele;Del Guacchio, Emanuele;Caputo, Paolo
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