Original Article

Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 285, Issue 3, pp 209-232

First online:

Closing the gaps: phylogenetic relationships in the Brassicaceae based on DNA sequence data of nuclear ribosomal ITS region

  • Suzanne I. WarwickAffiliated withEastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Email author 
  • , Klaus MummenhoffAffiliated withFB Biologie/Chemie, Botanik, Universität Osnabrück
  • , Connie A. SauderAffiliated withEastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • , Marcus A. KochAffiliated withHeidelberg Institute of Plant Sciences, Biodiversity and Plant Systematics, University of Heidelberg
  • , Ihsan A. Al-ShehbazAffiliated withMissouri Botanical Garden

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Sequence data from the nuclear encoded ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region were used to determine monophyly of tribes, tribal limits, and tribal relationships of 96 so far unassigned or tentatively assigned genera (represented by 101 taxa/accessions) within the Brassicaceae. Maximum-parsimony and maximum-likelihood analyses of 185 ITS Brassicaceae sequences, which also included representatives of each of the 34 currently recognized tribes, supported the separate phylogenetic distinctness of these tribes and permitted the tribal assignment of all but 12 of the unassigned genera into tribal clades. The data support the recognition of eight new, well-resolved, uni- or oligogeneric tribes recognized herein as the Alyssopsideae [96% bootstrap support (BS); including the central and southwestern Asian Alyssopsis and Calymmatium], Asteae (100% BS; including the Mexican Asta), Eudemeae (97% BS; South American Brayopsis, Eudema, and Xerodraba), Kernereae (96% BS; European Kernera and Rhizobotrya), Notothlaspideae (100% BS; New Zealandic Notothlaspi), Oreophytoneae (100% BS; eastern African Oreophyton and southern European Murbeckiella), and Yinshanieae (100% BS; Chinese Yinshania), as well as the moderately supported Microlepidieae (75% BS; Australian Microlepidium and Carinavalva). Furthermore, the results fully support the recent findings that the tribes Schizopetaleae and Thelypodieae ought to be recognized as two distinct tribes instead of a single tribe, as well as provide some support for the re-establishment of the tribe Cremolobeae, bringing the total number to 44 tribes in the family. Nearly 92% (308) of the 336 genera in the family have been assigned to a tribe. The earlier-published Anastaticeae is taken here to replace the Malcolmieae.


Brassicaceae ITS region Phylogeny Systematics Tribal assignments