Setoguchi, Hiroaki; Takeshi Asakawa Osawa; Jean-Christophe Pintaud; Tanguy Jaffré and Jean-Marie Veillon. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships within Araucariaceae based on rbcL gene sequences. American Journal of Botany 85(11): 1507-1516.

ABSTRACT: Phylogenetic relationships were determined in the Araucariaceae, which are now found mainly in the Southern Hemisphere. This conifer family was well diversified and widely distributed in both hemispheres during the Mesozoic era. The sequence of 1322 bases of the rbcL gene of cpDNA was determined from 29 species of Araucariaceae, representing almost all the species of the family. Phylogenetic trees determined by the parsimony method indicate that Araucariaceae are well defined by rbcL sequences and also that the monophyly of Agathis or Araucaria is well supported by high bootstrap values. The topology of these trees revealed that Wollemia had derived prior to Agathis and Araucaria. The rbcL phylogeny agrees well with the present recognition of four sections within Araucaria: Araucaria, Bunya, Eutacta, and Intermedia. Morphological characteristics of the number of cotyledons, position of male cone, and cuticular micromorphologies were evaluated as being phylogenetically informative. Section Bunya was found to be derived rather than to be the oldest taxon. Infrageneric relationships of Agathis could not be well elucidated because there are few informative site changes in the rbcL gene, suggesting the more recent differentiation of the species as their fossil records indicate. The New Caledonian Araucaria and Agathis species each formed a monophyletic group with very low differentiation in rbcL sequences among them, indicating rapid adaptive radiation to new edaphic conditions, i.e., ultramafic soils, in the post-Eocene era..