Summary of grass (Poaceae) phylogeny including outgroup families based on: GPWG (2001), Doust (2007), Sanchez-Ken et al. (2007) and Marchant and Briggs (2007) Phylogenetic analyses recognized 13 monophyletic subfamilies within the Poaceae family. The “crown group” of grasses includes two major clades: BEP and PACCMAD. For the Pooideae and Panicoideae subfamilies, representative tribes are shown. The most economically important grass species are provided following the subfamily or tribe name. The approximate number of species is indicated beside the subfamilial labels
Further analyses confirmed the major relationships found by the
GPWG, showing additionally that the outgroup families
Ecdeiocoleaceae and Joinvilleaceae form a clade sister to the
Poaceae, whereas Flagellariaceae clusters into a clade, named
graminid, which includes Poaceae, Ecdeiocoleaceae, and
Joinvilleaceae and is sister to the Restionaceae (Marchant and
Briggs 2007) (Fig. 1).
A wide clade (the BEP clade) comprises the basal sister subfamilies
Bambusoideae (bamboos) and Ehrhartoideae (including rice and wild
rice) and the Pooideae (including wheat, oats, barley, etc.)
The spikelet meristem is unique to all grasses except the
subfamily Anomochlooideae (see below), which is sister to all of
the Poaceae (Fig. 1), but the spikelet determinacy differs by
species: in wheat, for example, the SMs are indeterminate (Murai et
2005; Zanis 2007), whose families (Joinvilleaceae and
Ecdeiocoleaceae) are closely related to Poaceae (Fig. 1).
The earliest grasses had three stigmas, a relict of the three fused
carpels inherited from their ancestors; this number was reduced to
two after the speciation event that led to the genus Pharus
(Pharoideae subfamily in Fig. 1) (Kellogg 2001).
Like their nongrass ancestors, the earliest species also had six
stamens; it is not clear from the grass phylogeny when the shift
from six to three occurred, probably after the divergence of the
Puelia/Guaduella group (Puelioideae subfamily in Fig. 1)
Lodicules are present in the male floret of Pharus but not in the
genera Streptochaeta and Anomochloa, the earliest lineage of the
grasses (Anomoclooideae subfamily in Fig. 1).
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