Phylogenetic analysis of Magnoliales and Myristicaceae based on multiple data sets: implications for character evolution

H. Sauquet, J.A. Doyle, T. Scharaschkin, T. Borsch, K.W. Hilu, L.W. Chatrou, A. Le Thomas

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111 Citations (Scopus)


Magnoliales, consisting of six families of tropical to warm-temperate woody angiosperms, were long considered the most archaic order of flowering plants, but molecular analyses nest them among other eumagnoliids. Based on separate and combined analyses of a morphological matrix (115 characters) and multiple molecular data sets (seven variable chloroplast loci and five more conserved genes; 14 536 aligned nucleotides), phylogenetic relationships were investigated simultaneously within Magnoliales and Myristicaceae, using Laurales, Winterales, and Piperales as outgroups. Despite apparent conflicts among data sets, parsimony and maximum likelihood analyses of combined data converged towards a fully resolved and well-supported topology, consistent with higher-level molecular analyses except for the position of Magnoliaceae: Myristicaceae + (Magnoliaceae + ((Degeneria+Galbulimima) + (Eupomatia+ Annonaceae))). Based on these results, we discuss morphological evolution in Magnoliales and show that several supposedly plesiomorphic traits are synapomorphies of Magnoliineae, the sister group of Myristicaceae (e.g. laminar stamens). Relationships within Annonaceae are also resolved with strong support (Anaxagorea basal, then ambavioids). In contrast, resolution of relationships within Myristicaceae is difficult and still incomplete, due to a very low level of molecular divergence within the family and a long stem lineage. However, our data provide good evidence that Mauloutchia is nested among other Afro-Malagasy genera, contradicting the view that its androecium and pollen are plesiomorphic
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-186
JournalBotanical Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • comparative pollen morphology
  • disjunct section rytidospermum
  • ribosomal dna-sequences
  • long-branch attraction
  • combining data sets
  • saruma-henryi oliv
  • plastid gene rbcl
  • angiosperm phylogeny
  • flowering plants
  • basal angiosperms

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