Phylogeny of the grass family (Poaceae) from rpl16 intron sequence data

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DNA sequence data from the chloroplast noncoding rpl16 intron are used to address phylogenetic relationships among the major lineages of the grass family, with particular emphasis on the highly heterogeneous subfamily Bambusoideae and the basal lineages. Thirty. five grass sequences representing all six currently recognized major groups of the family and one outgroup sequence were analyzed using both parsimony and distance methods. The phylogenetic analyses indicated: (1) Puelia, a traditionally isolated bambusoid genus, is the most basal lineage in the BOP clade (Bambusoideae, Oryzoideae, and Pooideae); (2) the bambusoid clade is a sister group to the pooid clade; and (3) the monophyletic oryzoid clade is well separated from the bambusoid clade. The study further confirmed the recognition of two primary groups in the grass family: the BOP clade and the PACC clade (Panicoideae, Arundinoideae, Chloridoideae, and Centothecoideae); it also provided further evidence that the traditional subfamily Bambusoideae is highly heterogeneous and phylogenetically unacceptable. The data support Streptochaeteae, Anomochloeae, and Phareae as the most basal lineages among the extant grasses. Within the BOP clade, oryzoids and pooids are confirmed as two monophyletic clades, but the bambusoid clade, including only the woody bamboo tribe Bambuseae and the herbaceous bamboo tribe Olyreae, is relatively weakly supported. The study also indicated that the chloroplast noncoding region sequence data could be useful in phylogenetic analysis at relatively high taxonomic levels. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Grass
  • Phylogeny
  • rpl16 intron sequences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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