Phylogenetic systematics of the tribe Millettieae (Leguminosae) based on chloroplast trnK/matK sequences and its implications for evolutionary patterns in Papilionoideae

Jer Ming Hu, Matt Lavin, Martin F. Wojciechowski, Michael Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

140 Scopus citations


Phylogenetic relationships in the tribe Millettieae and allies in the subfamily Papilionoideae (Leguminosae) were reconstructed from chloroplast trnK/matK sequences. Sixty-two accessions representing 57 traditionally recognized genera of Papilionoideae were sampled, including 27 samples from Millettieae. Phylogenies were constructed using maximum parsimony and are well resolved and supported by high bootstrap values. A well-supported 'core Millettieae' clade is recognized, comprising the four large genera Millettia, Lonchocarpus, Derris, and Tephrosia. Several other small genera of Millettieae are not in the core Millettieae clade. Platycyamus is grouped with Phaseoleae (in part). Ostryocarpus, Austrosteenisia, and Dalbergiella are neither in the core Millettieae or Phaseoleae clade. These taxa, along with core Millettieae and Phaseoleae, form a monophyletic sister group to Indigofereae. Cyclolobium and Poecilanthe are close to Brongniartieae. Callerya and Wisteria belong to a large clade that includes all the legumes that lack the inverted repeat in their chloroplast genome, which confirms previous rbcL and phytochrome gene family phylogenies. The evolutionary history of four characters was examined in Millettieae and allies: the presence of canavanine, inflorescence types, the dehiscence of pods, and the presence of winged pods. trnK/matK sequence analysis suggests that the presence of a pseudoraceme or pseudopanicle and the accumulation of nonprotein amino acids are phylogenetically informative for Millettieae and allies with only a few exceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-430
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Fabaceae
  • matK
  • Millettieae
  • Papilionoideae
  • Phylogeny
  • trnK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

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