Australian Systematic Botany Australian Systematic Botany Society
Taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of plants

Bush peas: a rapid radiation with no support for monophyly of Pultenaea (Fabaceae: Mirbelieae)

L. A. Orthia A B D , M. D. Crisp A , L. G. Cook A and R. P. J. de Kok B C

A School of Botany and Zoology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.

B Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, The Australian National Herbarium, CSIRO, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

C Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AD, UK.

D Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Systematic Botany 18(2) 133-147
Submitted: 29 July 2004  Accepted: 13 January 2005   Published: 20 May 2005


Phylogenetic hypotheses are presented for Pultenaea based on cpDNA (trnL–F and ndhF) and nrDNA (ITS) sequence data. Pultenaea, as it is currently circumscribed, comprises six strongly supported lineages whose relationships with each other and 18 closely related genera are weak or conflicting among datasets. The lack of resolution among the six Pultenaea clades and their relatives appears to be the result of a rapid radiation, which is evident in molecular data from both the chloroplast and nuclear genomes. The molecular data provide no support for the monophyly of Pultenaea as it currently stands. Given these results, Pultenaea could split into many smaller genera. We prefer the taxonomically stable alternative of subsuming all 19 genera currently recognised in Pultenaea sensu lato (= the Mirbelia group) into an expanded concept of Pultenaea that would comprise ~470 species.


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