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Evolution of rbcL among Lathyrus and Kupicha’s classification

Author(s): S. Marghali, N. Zitouna, M. Gharbi, I. Fadhlaoui and N. Trifi-Farah

Phylogenetic relationships in the Lathyrus genus were examined using cpDNA data, particularly data attributed to the “barcode” rbcL gene to construct a possible evolutionary scenario. Plant barcoding can be used to differentiate between species within a genus and to conserve DNA within the same species. We assessed the phylogeny of 29 species of Lathyrus using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and unweighted pair-group method and arithmetic mean. The classifications did not agree with current morphological and basic Lathyrus classification. Lathyrus belinensis is a new species that was not described by Kupicha; according to rbcL analysis, the species belongs in the Lathyrus genus. Additionally, the genus Lathyrus has undergone a rapid population expansion as indicated by neutral selection indices.