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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 10;106(10):3853-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0813376106. Epub 2009 Feb 17.

Rosid radiation and the rapid rise of angiosperm-dominated forests.

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Wuhan Botanical Garden, The Chinese Academy of Science, Wuhan, Hubei 430074 China.


The rosid clade (70,000 species) contains more than one-fourth of all angiosperm species and includes most lineages of extant temperate and tropical forest trees. Despite progress in elucidating relationships within the angiosperms, rosids remain the largest poorly resolved major clade; deep relationships within the rosids are particularly enigmatic. Based on parsimony and maximum likelihood (ML) analyses of separate and combined 12-gene (10 plastid genes, 2 nuclear; >18,000 bp) and plastid inverted repeat (IR; 24 genes and intervening spacers; >25,000 bp) datasets for >100 rosid species, we provide a greatly improved understanding of rosid phylogeny. Vitaceae are sister to all other rosids, which in turn form 2 large clades, each with a ML bootstrap value of 100%: (i) eurosids I (Fabidae) include the nitrogen-fixing clade, Celastrales, Huaceae, Zygophyllales, Malpighiales, and Oxalidales; and (ii) eurosids II (Malvidae) include Tapisciaceae, Brassicales, Malvales, Sapindales, Geraniales, Myrtales, Crossosomatales, and Picramniaceae. The rosid clade diversified rapidly into these major lineages, possibly over a period of <15 million years, and perhaps in as little as 4 to 5 million years. The timing of the inferred rapid radiation of rosids [108 to 91 million years ago (Mya) and 107-83 Mya for Fabidae and Malvidae, respectively] corresponds with the rapid rise of angiosperm-dominated forests and the concomitant diversification of other clades that inhabit these forests, including amphibians, ants, placental mammals, and ferns.

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