We performed a phylogenetic study of Encholirium (Bromeliaceae, Pitcairnioideae) to test if this Brazilian endemic genus is monophyletic when including additional species and morphological characters compared to previous studies. Extensive fieldwork to increase the sampling of Encholirium and evolutionary analyses were conducted. Species of Fosterella, the sister group of the xeric clade of Pitcairnioideae, were used as outgroups. We analyzed two chloroplast DNA sequence markers (matK and ndhF) and 49 morphological characters with maximum parsimony analyses (MP), Bayesian inference (BI), and maximum likelihood (ML) with different sampling in the molecular analyses than the morphological. The phylogenetic analyses of the datasets, both independently and combined, did not recover Encholirium as monophyletic. We found few variable sites in the sequences used. This result is evidence of low nucleotide divergence and corroborates the hypothesis of the recent evolutionary history of these plants. The morphological differences between Dyckia and Encholirium, which are demonstrably associated with distinct pollination syndromes, ant-plant interactions, and single-multiple reproductive episodes, likely emerged in a short period of diversification in species assigned to these two genera.
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Vol. 44 • No. 1