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

Phylogenetic analysis based on nuclear DNA and morphology defines a clade of eastern Australian species of Acacia s.s. (section Juliflorae): the ‘Acacia longifolia group’

Gillian K. Brown A B C , Catherine Clowes A , Daniel J. Murphy B and Pauline Y. Ladiges A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Botany, The University of Melbourne, Vic. 3010, Australia.

B National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Vic. 3141, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Systematic Botany 23(3) 162-172
Submitted: 14 August 2009  Accepted: 19 April 2010   Published: 14 July 2010


Seventeen Australian, phyllodinous species of Acacia s.s. (from sections Juliflorae and Phyllodineae) were analysed to test the monophyly and relationships of ‘the Acacia longifolia group’, an informal group recognised in the Flora of Australia. Analyses were based on both morphological and molecular data, with A. triptera as an outgroup. A total of 92 herbarium specimens was investigated, with 15 phyllode, inflorescence, flower, pod and seed characters scored. The ITS and ETS regions of nuclear rDNA were sequenced and combined with a larger dataset sampled from species of all major clades of Acacia, totalling 65 accessions. Cladistic analyses provided evidence of a clade that defines the A. longifolia group as follows: A. alpina, A. axillaris, A. courtii, A. dallachiana, A. derwentiana, A. floribunda, A. longifolia subsp. longifolia and A. longifolia subsp. sophorae, A. longissima, A. maidenii, A. mucronata, A. obtusifolia, A. orites, A. oxycedrus, A. phlebophylla, A. rhigiophylla and A. riceana (all sect. Juliflorae), but excluding A. verticillata (section Juliflorae) and A. genistifolia (section Phyllodineae). The A. longifolia group is recognised as including south-eastern Australian species with cylindrically spiked inflorescences and phyllodes with prominent anastomosing venation.


The authors thank Mark Bachmann for his interest in this project and assistance in the field. The National Herbarium of Victoria (MEL) and The University of Melbourne Herbarium (MELU) are thanked for access to material for this study. Funding was provided by Australian Research Council Linkage Grant number LP0669625. Dr Michael Bayly and Dr Alison Kellow are thanked for providing DNA samples of Acacia dallachiana and A. phlebophylla.


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Appendix 1.  Morphological characters scored for taxa of the Acacia longifolia group and the functional outgroup A. triptera
For details of characters refer to Table 1. Missing data are indicated by ?
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Appendix 2.  List of all ITS and ETS accessions, excluding the Acacia longifolia group and the outgroup A. triptera
Details of each taxon are listed in the following order: scientific name, authority, voucher specimen, ITS GenBank number, ETS GenBank number. Taxa are separated by a semicolon
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