Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 120, Issue 6, pp 707–712 | Cite as

First report of chromosome numbers of the Carlemanniaceae (Lamiales)

  • Xue Yang
  • Shu-Gang Lu
  • Hua Peng
Regular Paper


The Carlemanniaceae comprises two small genera that are restricted to East Asia: the Carlemannia and Silvianthus. These genera were previously placed in the Rubiaceae or Caprifoliaceae, but are now considered a distinct family that is probably related to the Oleaceae in the Lamiales. The family is still poorly understood with respect to its morphological characteristics. Here, we present the first report of the chromosome numbers of the family using species from both genera, i.e., Carlemannia tetragona, Silvianthus bracteatus ssp. bracteatus, and S. bracteatus ssp. clerodendroides. The species were compared with the chromosome numbers of Oleaceae and associated families using a Bayesian tree that was generated from rbcL and ndhF sequence data from Genbank. C. tetragona had 2n = 30 (x = 15), whereas the two subspecies of Silvianthus had 2n = 38 (x = 19). Comparisons of chromosome numbers support the distinctness of the Carlemanniaceae, not only from the Oleaceae (x = 11, 13, 23), but also from the Tetrachondraceae (x = 10, 11), a family that is possibly related to the Carlemanniaceae and/or Oleaceae in the Lamiales. The notable difference in chromosome number between Carlemannia and Silvianthus, as well as the differences in other characteristics (pollen, seed, and fruit morphology), suggests that the family split early in its evolution.


Carlemannia Carlemanniaceae Chromosome number Oleaceae Silvianthus 



This study was supported by the National 973 Project (2003CB415103). We sincerely thank Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Tobe for his careful and patient help, and the two anonymous reviewers and the editor Dr. Motomi Ito for their valuable comments on the manuscript. We thank Profs. Jin Chen (Xinshuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS), Magnus Lindén (Uppsala University), and Zhengjun Zhang (University of Wisconsin) for their assistance in completing this study. The English in this document has been checked by at least two professional editors, both native speakers of English. For a certificate, see:


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Ecology and GeobotanyYunnan UniversityKunmingChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Plant Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina

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