A classification of the Chloridoideae (Poaceae) based on multi-gene phylogenetic trees.
We conducted a molecular phylogenetic study of the subfamily Chloridoideae using six plastid DNA sequences (ndhA intron, ndhF, rps16-trnK, rps16intron, rps3, and rpl32-trnL) and a single nuclear ITS DNA sequence. Our large original data set includes 246 species (17.3%) representing 95 genera (66%) of the grasses currently placed in the Chloridoideae. The maximum likelihood and Bayesian analysis of DNA sequences provides strong support for the monophyly of the Chloridoideae; followed by, in order of divergence: a Triraphideae clade with Neyraudia sister to Triraphis; an Eragrostideae clade with the Cotteinae (includes Cottea and Enneapogon) sister to the Uniolinae (includes Entoplocamia, Tetrachne, and Uniola), and a terminal Eragrostidinae clade of Ectrosia, Harpachne, and Psammagrostis embedded in a polyphyletic Eragrostis; a Zoysieae clade with Urochondra sister to a Zoysiinae (Zoysia) clade, and a terminal Sporobolinae clade that includes Spartina, Calamovilfa, Pogoneura, and Crypsis embedded in a polyphyletic Sporobolus; and a very large terminal Cynodonteae clade that includes 13 monophyletic subtribes. The Cynodonteae includes, in alphabetical order: Aeluropodinae (Aeluropus); Boutelouinae (Bouteloua); Eleusininae (includes Apochiton, Astrebla with Schoenefeldia embedded, Austrochloris, Brachyachne, Chloris, Cynodon with Brachyachne embedded in part, Eleusine, Enteropogon with Eustachys embedded in part, Eustachys, Chrysochloa, Coelachyrum, Leptochloa with Dinebra embedded, Lepturus, Lintonia, Microchloa, Saugetia, Schoenefeldia, Sclerodactylon, Tetrapogon, and Trichloris); Hilariinae (Hilaria); Monanthochloinae (includes Distichlis, Monanthochloe, and Reederochloa); Muhlenbergiinae (Muhlenbergia with Aegopogon, Bealia, Blepharoneuron, Chaboissaea, Lycurus, Pereilema, Redfieldia, Schaffnerella, and Schedonnardus all embedded); Orcuttiinae (includes Orcuttia and Tuctoria); Pappophorinae (includes Neesiochloa and Pappophorum); Scleropogoninae (includes Blepharidachne, Dasyochloa, Erioneuron, Munroa, Scleropogon, and Swallenia); Traginae (Tragus with Monelytrum, Polevansia, and Willkommia all embedded); Tridentinae (includes Gouinia, Tridens, Triplasis, and Vaseyochloa); Triodiinae (Triodia); and the Tripogoninae (Melanocenchris and Tripogon with Eragrostiella embedded). In our study the Cynodonteae still include 19 genera and the Zoysieae include a single genus that are not yet placed in a subtribe. The tribe Triraphideae and the subtribe Aeluropodinae are newly treated at that rank. We propose a new tribal and subtribal classification for all known genera in the Chloridoideae. The subfamily might have originated in Africa and/or Asia since the basal lineage, the Triraphideae, includes species with African and Asian distribution.