Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 266, Issue 1, pp 119-145

First online:

Phylogeny of subtribe Pyrinae (formerly the Maloideae, Rosaceae): Limited resolution of a complex evolutionary history

  • C. S. CampbellAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Maine Email author 
  • , R. C. EvansAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Acadia University
  • , D. R. MorganAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of West Georgia
  • , T. A. DickinsonAffiliated withRoyal Ontario Museum, Botany Section
  • , M. P. ArsenaultAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Maine

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Generic relationships in the Pyrinae (equivalent to subfamily Maloideae) were assessed with six chloroplast regions and five nuclear regions. We also plotted 12 non-molecular characters onto molecular phylogenies. Chloroplast DNA trees are incongruent with those from nuclear regions, as are most nuclear regions with one another. Some of this conflict may be the result of hybridization, which occurs between many genera of Pyrinae in the present and may have occurred in the past, and duplication of nuclear loci. Sequence divergence between genera of Pyrinae, which is significantly less than that between genera of another large clade in Rosaceae, the Rosoideae, is concentrated in terminal branches, with short internal branches. This pattern is consistent with an ancient, rapid radiation, which has also been hypothesized from the fossil record. Even with about 500,000 bp of sequence, our results resolve only several small groups of genera and leave much uncertainty about phylogenetic relationships within Pyrinae.


Rapid ancient radiation cpDNA GBSSI hybridization gene duplication Pyrodae Pyreae