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FONTANA, María Laura; PEREZ, Víctor Ramón  and  LUNA, Claudia Verónica. Evolutive characteristics of Prosopis spp.: cytogenetic, genetic and hybridizations. Rodriguésia [online]. 2018, vol.69, n.2, pp.409-421. ISSN 0370-6583.

Prosopis is a primitive genus in the Mimosoid’s clade characterized by disjunctions in its distribution areas and the difficulty in establishing its phylogeny. This paper presents an updated literature review on the evolutionary, cytogenetic, genetic and hybridization characteristics of the genus. The available data suggest that it diverged early in several major lineages, although in some of them recent episodes of partial speciation have occurred. Genetic diversity within and between populations depends on the reproductive system and adaptative strategies, among other factors. Populations’ structure also sets restrictions to evolutive processes leading to the increasing adaptation to the environment and/or specific differentiation. It is an essentially diploid genus (2n = 28) never the less polyploidy and frequent processes of interspecific hybridization and introgression have been informed. High genetic and chromosomal similarity between species of the genus allows the generation of viable hybrids, reinforcing the idea that some species are evolutionarily active and highlights the difficulties this causes in the taxonomic treatment and the phylogeny of the group.

Keywords : carob tree; botany; mesquite; systematic; taxonomy.

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