Phylogenetic position of African and Malagasy Pimpinella species and related genera (Apiaceae, Pimpinelleae)

Anthony Richard Magee, Ben Erik van Wyk, Patricia M. Tilney, Stephen R. Downie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The phylogenetic position of the African and Malagasy species of Pimpinella is assessed using nrDNA ITS sequence data and a representative sampling of the genus, including 16 species from Africa and Madagascar and 26 species from Eurasia. The results of maximum parsimony and Bayesian analyses of these data show that the African and Malagasy species ally with their Eurasian counterparts in Pimpinelleae. The genus Pimpinella is rendered paraphyletic by the inclusion of African Cryptotaenia and the small African and Malagasy endemic genera Frommia and Phellolophium. Within a paraphyletic Pimpinella, three major clades are recovered, with the African species occupying two of these clades. The current sectional classification of the genus, based predominantly on fruit vestiture, is largely artificial. Chromosome base number, however, was found to be consistent with the groupings recovered in the molecular analyses. Those African and Malagasy Pimpinella species with a chromosome base number of x = 11 and largely glabrous petals and fruits, form the earliest diverging clade together with Frommia, which also has a base count of n = 11 and glabrous petals and fruits. The remaining African species ally with several Eurasian species of Pimpinella and share a chromosome base number of x = 9 and usually hairy petals and fruits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-211
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Systematics and Evolution
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


  • Cryptotaenia
  • Cytology
  • Frommia
  • Fruit anatomy
  • Phellolophium
  • Pimpinelleae
  • nrDNA ITS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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