Aim: Phylogenomics Stage 2
Project initiation: Aug 2021
Project lead: Harvey Orel | The University of Melbourne
The Rutaceae are a large plant family that occur throughout Australia, with centres of diversity in the mesic environments of the east, south-east and south-west of the country. This project will focus on two major lineages of the family in Australia.
The Eriostemon–Phebalium group (Boronieae) contains most of Australia’s sclerophyllous Rutaceae and includes the well-known genera Correa and Philotheca. Recent molecular work has identified an ancient rapid diversification that gave rise to multiple lineages in the group, but the relationship between these lineages remains unclear.
The Flindersia group includes 9 Australian genera and ~33 Australian species that occur almost exclusively in rainforests on the east coast. Together, these taxa make up a significant part of Australia’s rainforest Rutaceae. Genera in the group are peculiarly species-poor and have not been well studied using molecular data.
Our work will use DNA sequencing methods to investigate the evolutionary history of these groups with a focus on clarifying taxonomic limits and understanding morphological evolution and historical biogeography.