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A new species of croton (Euphorbiaceae) from a Madagascan lineage discovered in coastal Kenya

Cite this dataset

Ngumbau, Veronicah et al. (2020). A new species of croton (Euphorbiaceae) from a Madagascan lineage discovered in coastal Kenya [Dataset]. Dryad.


Croton kinondoensis, a new species from Kenya, is described and illustrated here with photographs. It is found in the sacred Kaya Kinondo Forest, one of the last remaining coastal forests patches in Kenya. Its morphology and systematic position based on ITS and trnL-F DNA sequence data clearly place it within the Adenophorus Group of Croton, a clade of ca. 15 species otherwise known only from Madagascar and the Comoros Archipelago. Its closest affinities appear to lie with Croton mayottae, from the island of Mayotte, and C. menabeensis, from northwestern Madagascar. This new species likely represents an independent dispersal of Croton from Madagascar to mainland Africa.


DNA was extracted from leaf fragments obtained from the holotype specimen Ngumbau & Nyange SAJIT-V-0520 (HIB) using the Mag-MK Plant Genomic DNA extraction kit (Sangon Biotech, Shanghai) following the manufacturer’s protocol. For Malagasy accessions, DNA was extracted using the DNeasy plant mini kit (Qiagen, Valencia, California) following the manufacturer’s protocol. The ITS and trnL-F regions were amplified using the same primers (White et al. 1990; Taberlet et al. 1991) and the same PCR procedures as in Van Ee et al. (2015) and Haber et al. (2017). Sequence formatting and editing were conducted in Geneious v. 5.6.4 (Kearse et al. 2012).


Talents Project of Wuhan Botanical Garden, Award: CAS (Y655301M01)

Sino-Africa Joint Research Center, Award: CAS (SAJC201614)

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1353162

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1353070