Phylogenetic structure in the grass family (Poaceae): evidence from the nuclear gene phytochrome B

Am J Bot. 2000 Jan;87(1):96-107.


Phylogenetic analyses of partial phytochrome B (PHYB) nuclear DNA sequences provide unambiguous resolution of evolutionary relationships within Poaceae. Analysis of PHYB nucleotides from 51 taxa representing seven traditionally recognized subfamilies clearly distinguishes three early-diverging herbaceous "bambusoid" lineages. First and most basal are Anomochloa and Streptochaeta, second is Pharus, and third is Puelia. The remaining grasses occur in two principal, highly supported clades. The first comprises bambusoid, oryzoid, and pooid genera (the BOP clade); the second comprises panicoid, arundinoid, chloridoid, and centothecoid genera (the PACC clade). The PHYB phylogeny is the first nuclear gene tree to address comprehensively phylogenetic relationships among grasses. It corroborates several inferences made from chloroplast gene trees, including the PACC clade, and the basal position of the herbaceous bamboos Anomochloa, Streptochaeta, and Pharus. However, the clear resolution of the sister group relationship among bambusoids, oryzoids, and pooids in the PHYB tree is novel; the relationship is only weakly supported in ndhF trees and is nonexistent in rbcL and plastid restriction site trees. Nuclear PHYB data support Anomochlooideae, Pharoideae, Pooideae sensu lato, Oryzoideae, Panicoideae, and Chloridoideae, and concur in the polyphyly of both Arundinoideae and Bambusoideae.