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

A phylogeny of Pouteria (Sapotaceae) from Malesia and Australasia

Teguh Triono A B C , Anthony H. D. Brown A , Judy G. West A and Michael D. Crisp B D
+ Author Affliations
- Author Affliations

A Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

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

C Present address: Herbarium, Herbarium Bogoriense, Jalan Raya Juanda 22, Bogor 16122, Indonesia.

D Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Systematic Botany 20(2) 107-118
Submitted: 13 April 2006  Accepted: 20 February 2007   Published: 26 April 2007


The genus Pouteria Aublet is a pantropical group and many of its species produce high-quality timber and edible fruit. In 1991, on the basis of morphological characters, Pennington combined the genus Planchonella Pierre with Pouteria, expanding the latter genus to nine sections and 325 species. However, many Planchonella species were not included in his account and doubt remains about the generic limits of Pouteria sensu Pennington. This paper re-assesses the generic delimitation of Pouteria and its affinities with Planchonella from molecular data generated from the nuclear-encoded internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. The analysis includes 22 Planchonella species and three Pouteria species sensu van Royen collected from Malesia and Australia, and seven additional Planchonella species from New Caledonia with molecular data available from GenBank. Other genera from Sapotaceae included in the analysis were Chrysophyllum, Niemeyera, Pichonia, Pycnandra and Xantolis (tribe Chrysophylleae) and Mimusops, Palaquium and Manilkara (outgroups from other tribes). The resulting ITS cladograms from both Bayesian and maximum parsimony analyses indicated that Malesian and Australasian Pouteria species are not monophyletic and comprise three separate lineages, therefore providing evidence against the broad circumscription of this genus by Pennington. Tertiary leaf venation type (reticulate, parallel or ramified), when mapped onto the phylogeny, correlated with these groupings, indicating that this character is taxonomically informative.


This work was part of the first author’s Ph.D. project and it was supported by the Ebbe Nielsen Scholarship provided by Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS), The Australian National University International Postgraduate by Research Tuition Scholarship, and CSIRO – Plant Industry; the first author also received a research grant from the Systematics Association and the Linnaean Society, United Kingdom for the field work. We thank the following institutions and persons for their assistance in providing plant materials: The Australian National Botanic Gardens and Booderee Botanic Garden, The Adelaide Botanic Garden and Mt Lofty Botanic Garden, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Mt Annan Botanic Garden, The Australian National Herbarium (CANB), Lyn Craven, Andrew Slee, and David Jones from the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research (CPBR), CSIRO – Plant Industry; Bogor Botanic Garden, Purwodadi Botanic Garden, Herbarium Bogoriense (BO), West Bali National Park, Wana Riset Samboja (East Kalimantan), and Forestry Research Division Manokwari (West Papua), Indonesia; Dr Saw Leng Guan (FRIM, Malaysia) and Dr Edwino S. Fernando (Los Banos, Philippines). Our further thanks to Randy Bayer, Ed Biffin, Curt Brubaker, Mark Clements, Ed Cross, Marlien van der Merwe, Ish Sharma, Matt Unwin and many other colleagues from the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research (CPBR), CSIRO – Plant Industry, and to Lyn Cook from the School of Botany and Zoology, the Australian National University for invaluable advice and support. Thanks also go to the reviewers for the helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.


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