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a taxonomic category of plants and animals immediately below a genus. A subgenus braces a group of species that are most closely related to one another within a genus but that do not differ so much from other species or groups of species of the genus as to constitute a separate genus. A subgenus may be represented by a single species. The plant genus Astragalus contains several subgenera, including Phaca, Caprinus, and Tragacantha. In animal taxonomy, the genus Mustela includes the subgenera Lutreola, Putorius, and Mustela. The type subgenus repeats the name of the genus. The name of the subgenus is placed in parentheses after the genus name; for example, Mustela (Putorius) eversmanni is the Siberian polecat.