Journal of Plant Research

, 122:95 | Cite as

Non-monophyly of the woody bamboos (Bambuseae; Poaceae): a multi-gene region phylogenetic analysis of Bambusoideae s.s.

  • Sarawood Sungkaew
  • Chris M. A. Stapleton
  • Nicolas Salamin
  • Trevor R. HodkinsonEmail author
Regular Paper


The taxonomy of Bambusoideae is in a state of flux and phylogenetic studies are required to help resolve systematic issues. Over 60 taxa, representing all subtribes of Bambuseae and related non-bambusoid grasses were sampled. A combined analysis of five plastid DNA regions, trnL intron, trnL-F intergenic spacer, atpB-rbcL intergenic spacer, rps16 intron, and matK, was used to study the phylogenetic relationships among the bamboos in general and the woody bamboos in particular. Within the BEP clade (Bambusoideae s.s., Ehrhartoideae, Pooideae), Pooideae were resolved as sister to Bambusoideae s.s. Tribe Bambuseae, the woody bamboos, as currently recognized were not monophyletic because Olyreae, the herbaceous bamboos, were sister to tropical Bambuseae. Temperate Bambuseae were sister to the group consisting of tropical Bambuseae and Olyreae. Thus, the temperate Bambuseae would be better treated as their own tribe Arundinarieae than as a subgroup of Bambuseae. Within the tropical Bambuseae, neotropical Bambuseae were sister to the palaeotropical and Austral Bambuseae. In addition, Melocanninae were found to be sister to the remaining palaeotropical and Austral Bambuseae. We discuss phylogenetic and morphological patterns of diversification and interpret them in a biogeographic context.


trnL-F atpB-rbcL rps16 matK Bambusoideae Woody bamboos 



We thank several people who helped or provided us with the plant material used in this study: Dr Soejatmi Dransfield, Dr Wang Hong, Mr Gareth Hodkinson, Dr Surrey Jacobs, Dr Wong Khoon Meng, Dr Ruth Kiew, Dr Duangchai Sookchaloem, and Ms Atchara Teerawatananon. We are grateful to Dr Soejatmi Dransfield who has contributed significantly to this paper. Special thanks to Dr Vincent Savolainen, Dr Mark Chase, and Mr Laszlo Csiba who helped with the molecular work. This work was supported by: the TRF/BIOTEC Special Program for Biodiversity Research and Training grant T_147003; a Trinity College Dublin, Eire, Postgraduate Studentship and the Trinity College Postgraduate Travel Reimbursement Fund; and the Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand.


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarawood Sungkaew
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chris M. A. Stapleton
    • 3
  • Nicolas Salamin
    • 4
  • Trevor R. Hodkinson
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Forest Biology, Faculty of ForestryKasetsart UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Botany, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College DublinUniversity of DublinDublin 2Ireland
  3. 3.Royal Botanic Gardens KewRichmondUK
  4. 4.Department of Ecology and Evolution, BiophoreUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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