Authors: Wen, Fang; Xin, Zi-Bing; Hong, Xin; Cai, Lei; Chen, Xiao-Yun; Liang, Jun-Jie; Wang, Hui-Feng; Maciejewski, Stephen; Wei, Yi-Gang; Fu, Long-Fei
Publication: ARPHA Preprints
Year: 2022
Genera: Actinostephanus

Actinostephanus, a new genus from southern China, is described and colorfully illustrated with a single species, A. enpingensis. This new genus is morphologically most similar to Boeica and Leptoboea, nevertheless, it can be easily distinguished from the latter two by the following characteristics, such as leaves in whorls of three, all closely clustered at the  top; corolla bowl-shaped, 5-lobed, actinomorphic; capsule hard, oblong-ovoid, short, 3–4 mm long, densely appressed villous, wrapped by persistent densely pubescent calyx lobes, style persistent. The new genus and related genera were sequenced using the next-generation sequencing technique. The whole plastid genome of the new genus is 154, 315 – 154, 344 bp in length. We reconstructed phylogenetic trees using the dataset of 80 encoded protein genes of the whole plastid genome from 47 accessions based on ML and BI analyses. The result revealed that the new genus was recovering in a polytomy including Boeica, Rhynchotechum, and Leptoboea with strong support, congruent to the morphological evidence. A global conservation assessment was also performed and classifies A. enpingensis as Least Concern (LC). In addition, after a review of recently described species of Gesneriaceae, we propose that plant enthusiasts, especially Gesneriad fans, have been playing an increasingly important role in the process of new taxa-discoveries.

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