Circumscription and phylogeny of Apiaceae subfamily Saniculoideae based on chloroplast DNA sequences

Carolina I. Calviño, Stephen R. Downie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An estimate of phylogenetic relationships within Apiaceae subfamily Saniculoideae was inferred using data from the chloroplast DNA trnQ-trnK 5′-exon region to clarify the circumscription of the subfamily and to assess the monophyly of its constituent genera. Ninety-one accessions representing 14 genera and 82 species of Apiaceae were examined, including the genera Steganotaenia, Polemanniopsis, and Lichtensteinia which have been traditionally treated in subfamily Apioideae but determined in recent studies to be more closely related to or included within subfamily Saniculoideae. The trnQ-trnK 5′-exon region includes two intergenic spacers heretofore underutilized in molecular systematic studies and the rps16 intron. Analyses of these loci permitted an assessment of the relative utility of these noncoding regions (including the use of indel characters) for phylogenetic study at different hierarchical levels. The use of indels in phylogenetic analyses of both combined and partitioned data sets improves resolution of relationships, increases bootstrap support values, and decreases levels of overall homoplasy. Intergeneric relationships derived from maximum parsimony, Bayesian, and maximum likelihood analyses, as well as from maximum parsimony analysis of indel data alone, are fully resolved and consistent with one another and generally very well supported. We confirm the expansion of subfamily Saniculoideae to include Steganotaenia and Polemanniopsis (as the new tribe Steganotaenieae C.I. Calviño and S.R. Downie) but not Lichtensteinia. Sister group to tribe Steganotaenieae is tribe Saniculeae, redefined to include the genera Actinolema, Alepidea, Arctopus, Astrantia, Eryngium, Petagnaea, and Sanicula. With the synonymization of Hacquetia into Sanicula, all genera are monophyletic. Eryngium is divided into "Old World" and "New World" subclades and within Astrantia sections Astrantia and Astrantiella are monophyletic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-191
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Apiaceae
  • Indels
  • Phylogeny
  • Saniculoideae
  • cpDNA trnQ-trnK 5′-exon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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