Identifying clades in Asian Annonaceae: monophyletic genera in the polyphyletic Miliuseae

J.B. Mols, B. Gravendeel, L.W. Chatrou, M.D. Pirie, P. Bygrave, M.W. Chase, P.J.A. Kessler

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69 Citations (Scopus)


The tribe Miliuseae (Annonaceae) comprises six genera distributed in Asia: Alphonsea, Mezzettia, Miliusa, Orophea, Platymitra, and Phoenicanthus. A phylogenetic study to investigate the putative monophyly of the tribe and the intergeneric relationships is presented here. Nucleotide sequences of the plastid gene rbcL, trnL intron, and trnL-trnF intergenic spacer were analyzed from 114 Annonaceae taxa, including 24 Miliuseae species and two outgroups using maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference. The two data sets (rbcL and the trnL-trnF regions) were analyzed separately and in combination. Miliuseae were found to be polyphyletic due to the position of Mezzettia and are part of a large, predominantly Asian and Central-American clade (miliusoid clade). Although intergeneric relationships were poorly resolved, all genera, except Polyalthia, were monophyletic, supporting previous generic delimitation based on morphology. A group of three Polyalthia species seems the most likely sister group of Miliusa. Several infrageneric groups of Miliusa, Orophea, and Polyalthia are supported by both molecular and morphological data. No morphological synapomorphies have yet been found for the miliusoid clade. Molecular clades within the miliusoid clade, however, can be characterized by size and the shape of the outer petals, number of ovules per carpel, and the size of the fruits
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-600
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • chloroplast dna
  • flowering plants
  • rbcl sequences
  • seed plants
  • systematics
  • evolution
  • revision
  • phylogeny
  • regions
  • number


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