, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 644-649

A Phylogeny of Euphorbieae Subtribe Euphorbiinae (Euphorbiaceae) Based on Molecular Data


Phylogenetic relationships within Euphorbiinae were inferred from our analysis of the 3′; end of the chloroplast gene ndhF. A sampling of that subtribe covered 88 species; 3 closely related species from the subtribes Anthosteminae and Neoguillauminiinae and the tiribe Hippomaneae were included as outgroups. A phylogenetic assessment was carried out using the parsimony approach. The relationships revealed via these ndhF data supported the monophyly of subg.Esula, subg.Chamaesyce, subg.Euphorbia, and subg.Lacanthis. However, the polyphyly of subg.Agaloma, subg.Lyciopsis, and subg.Eremophyton also was strongly suggested. The African succulent Euphorbiinae can be divided into primarily two independent groups: 1) spiny succulents, which form a strongly supported clade with three subclades (subg.Euphorbia, subg.Lacanthis, andMonadenium+Synadenium); and 2) non-spiny succulents, which consist of sect.Meleuphorbia, sect.Medusae, sect.Anthacantha, sect.Trichadenia, sect.Pseudeuphorbium, sect.Treisia, and sect.Pseudacalypha. In the ndhF tree, the subg.Esula clade is placed as a sister to the rest of the Euphorbiinae. Thus, the origin of theEuphorbia s.I. should be sought within the herbaceous species of subg.Esula. The core North American endemicEuphorbia groups --Agaloma, Chamaesyce, andPoinsettia — are monophyletic and independent of the South American subg.Agaloma. Instead, they are derived from the AfricanEuphorbia subg.Lyciopsis andEremophyton. The Eurasian subg.Esula clade forms two subclades, which are concordant to sect.Esula and sect.Tithymalus.