Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 249, Issue 3, pp 213–231

AFLP analysis of phylogenetic relationships among myrmecophytic species of Macaranga(Euphorbiaceae) and their allies


DOI: 10.1007/s00606-004-0219-4

Cite this article as:
Bänfer, G., Fiala, B. & Weising, K. Plant Syst. Evol. (2004) 249: 213. doi:10.1007/s00606-004-0219-4


The palaeotropic pioneer tree genus Macaranga Thouars (Euphorbiaceae) is characterized by various types of mutualistic interactions with specific ant partners (mainly Crematogaster spp.). About 30 species are obligate ant-plants (myrmecophytes). We used amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers to assess phylogenetic relationships among 108 Macaranga specimens from 43 species, including all available taxa from the three sections known to contain myrmecophytes. Eight primer combinations produced 426 bands that were scored as presence/absence characters. Banding patterns were analyzed phenetically, cladistically and by principal coordinates analysis. Monophyly of section Pruinosae is clearly supported. There is also good evidence for a monophyletic section Pachystemon that includes the puncticulata group. The monophyly of section Winklerianae and relationships between the three sections remain ambiguous. Section Pachystemon is subdivided into four well-supported monophyletic subclades that presumably correspond to taxonomic entities.

Key words

MacarangaEuphorbiaceaeAFLPmolecular phylogenyevolution of myrmecophytesant-plants

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Systematics and Morphology of Plants, Institute of Biology, Department of SciencesUniversity of KasselKasselGermany
  2. 2.Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology (Zoology III), BiocentreUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany