Species delimitation and inter-specific gene flow in Tamarix L. (Tamaricaceae)

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Tamarix L. play important role in preventing deforestation in Iran. Tamarix species exhibit wide range of morphological variation therefore, the species delimitation become difficult. This is further complicated due to similarity of morphological characters in closely related species and the occurrence of inter-specific hybridization. The present study was performed to identify Tamarix species and their potential hybrids in Semnan Province of Iran. We used ITS and ISSR and 42 morphological characters for our investigation. Molecular phylogeny of the studied species and their relationship was not in agreement with the species tree of morphological characters and with taxonomic treatment of the genus. HGT tree of ITS and morphological data obtained revealed the occurrence of inter-specific hybridization or introgression between Tamarix species.

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