, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 2-21,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 05 Dec 2008

Phylogeny of Cyperaceae Based on DNA Sequence Data: Current Progress and Future Prospects


In the last decade, efforts to reconstruct suprageneric phylogeny of the Cyperaceae have intensified. We present an analysis of 262 taxa representing 93 genera in 15 tribes, sequenced for the plastid rbcL and trnL-F (intron and intergenic spacer). Cyperaceae are monophyletic and resolved into two clades, here recognised as Mapanioideae and Cyperoideae, and the overall topology is similar to results from previous studies. Within Cyperoideae, Trilepideae are sister to rest of taxa whereas Cryptangieae, Bisboeckelerieae and Sclerieae are resolved within Schoeneae. Cladium and Rhynchospora (and Pleurostachys) are resolved into clades sister to the rest of Schoeneae, lending support to the recognition of these taxa in separate tribes. However, we retain these taxa in Schoeneae pending broader sampling of the group. The phylogenetic position of 40 species in 21 genera is presented in this study for the first time, elucidating their position in Abildgaardieae (Trachystylis), Cryptangieae (Didymiandrum, Exochogyne), Cypereae (Androtrichum, Volkiella), Eleocharideae (Chillania), and Schoeneae (Calyptrocarya, Morelotia). More sampling effort (more taxa and the use of more rapidly evolving markers) is needed to resolve relationships in Fuireneae and Schoeneae.