Overall phylogenetic relationships within the genus Pelargonium (Geraniaceae) were inferred based on DNA sequences from mitochondrial(mt)-encoded nad1 b/c exons and from chloroplast(cp)-encoded trnL (UAA) 5' exon-trnF (GAA) exon regions using two species of Geranium and Sarcocaulon vanderetiae as outgroups. The group II intron between nad1 exons b and c was found to be absent from the Pelargonium, Geranium, and Sarcocaulon sequences presented here as well as from Erodium, which is the first recorded loss of this intron in angiosperms. Separate phylogenetic analyses of the mtDNA and cpDNA data sets produced largely congruent topologies, indicating linkage between mitochondrial and chloroplast genome inheritance. Simultaneous analysis of the combined data sets yielded a well-resolved topology with high clade support exhibiting a basic split into small and large chromosome species, the first group containing two lineages and the latter three. One large chromosome lineage (x = 11) comprises species from sections Myrrhidium and Chorisma and is sister to a lineage comprising P. mutans (x = 11) and species from section Jenkinsonia (x = 9). Sister to these two lineages is a lineage comprising species from sections Ciconium (x = 9) and Subsucculentia (x = 10). Cladistic evaluation of this pattern suggests that x = 11 is the ancestral basic chromosome number for the genus
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