Journal: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volume: 48
Pages: 207-223


Bayesian and parsimony analyses of five plastid gene and nrITS regions from 58 Rubioideae (Rubiaceae) taxa further support the sister-group relationship between the African monotypic genus Schizocolea and the Psychotrieae alliance sensu Bremer & Manen. Our analyses show that the Psychotrieae alliance can be subdivided into in four well-supported clades: Schizocolea, (Schradereae(Gaertnereae(Mitchelleae–Morindeae s.s.))), Palicoureeae–Psychotrieae s.s., and Craterispermeae–Prismatomerideae. The relationships between the latter three clades remain unsettled. Our study further reveals much higher numbers of molecular autapomorphies of the tribes compared with those of molecular synapomorphies of two sister tribes or groups of tribes. Within the newly delimited Psychotrieae alliance a one-seeded carpel was inferred as ancestral and many- and two-seeded carpels evolved once each. We describe Mitchelleae to accommodate Damnacanthus and Mitchella and restrict Morindeae to include only Appunia, Coelospermum, Gynochthodes, Morinda, Pogonolobus, and Syphonandrium. Mitchelleae is characterized e.g., by placentae inserted near the top of the septum and a single campylotropous ovule per carpel, while Morindeae s.s. has massive and T-shaped placentae inserted in the middle of the septum and two anatropous ovules per carpel.