Phylogeny of Acronychia (Rutaceae) and first insights into its historical biogeography and the evolution of fruit characters

Holzmeyer, Laura, Duretto, Marco, Crayn, Darren, Hörandl, Elvira, Heslewood, Margaret, Jayanthan, Janani, and Appelhans, Marc (2015) Phylogeny of Acronychia (Rutaceae) and first insights into its historical biogeography and the evolution of fruit characters. PLoS ONE, 10 (8). e0136296. pp. 1-22.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Background: The genus Acronychia (Citrus family, Rutaceae) contains 49 species of trees and shrubs that are found mainly in rain forest. The genus has a large distributional range from mainland southern Asia to Australia and New Caledonia, but most species are endemic to either New Guinea or Australia. This study aimed to provide the first detailed molecular phylogeny of Acronychia and use it to test the taxonomic value of fruit morphological characters, and infer the historical biogeography of the genus.

Methodology: Phylogenetic analyses (Bayesian Inference, Maximum Likelihood) were undertaken on nucleotide sequence data from two plastid (psbA-trnH, trnL-trnF) and three nuclear markers (ETS, ITS, NIAi3) from 29 Acronychia species (59% of the genus) and representatives of related genera.

Results and Conclusions: The results indicate that the South-East Asian genus Maclurodendron is nested phylogenetically within Acronychia and must be synonymized to render Acronychia monophyletic. Fruit morphological characters have been used previously to infer relationships within Acronychia and our analyses show that these characters are informative for some subclades but are homoplasious for the group as a whole. Apocarpous fruits are the ancestral state in Acronychia and subapocarpous and fully syncarpous fruits are derived. The unisexual flowers of Maclurodendron are derived from bisexual flowers, which are found in all species of Acronychia as well as its relatives. Acronychia probably first evolved on Australia with range expansion to New Guinea via stepping-stone dispersal or direct land connections within the Sahul Shelf, followed by two independent dispersals to areas west of New Guinea. Most species of Acronychia occur in either Australia or New Guinea, but no species occurs in both regions. This is surprising given the close proximity of the landmasses, but might be explained by ecological factors.

Item ID: 40283
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

© 2015 Holzmeyer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Göttingen University (GU)
Projects and Grants: GU Open Access Publication Fund
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2015 03:43
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060310 Plant Systematics and Taxonomy @ 60%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960803 Documentation of Undescribed Flora and Fauna @ 20%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 80%
Downloads: Total: 988
Last 12 Months: 131
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page