J Syst Evol ›› 2020, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (5): 673-695.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12588

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Major clades and a revised classification of Magnolia and Magnoliaceae based on whole plastid genome sequences via genome skimming

Yu-Bing Wang1,2†, Bin-Bin Liu2,3†, Ze-Long Nie4, Hong-Feng Chen5, Fa-Ju Chen1, Richard B. Figlar6, and Jun Wen2*   

  1. 1 1Key Laboratory of Three Gorges Regional Plant Genetics & Germplasm Enhancement (CTGU)/Biotechnology Research Center, China Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, Hubei, China
    2 Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box, 37012 Washington, DC 20013‐7012, USA
    3 State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    4 Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Utilization, College of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Jishou University, Jishou 416000, Hunan, China
    5 Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
    6 Magnolia Society International, Magnolian Grove Arboretum, 651 Newton Road, Pickens, SC 29671, USA
  • Received:2020-03-05 Accepted:2020-04-07 Online:2020-04-11 Published:2020-09-01


With more than 300 species, the Magnoliaceae family represents a major Magnoliid lineage that is disjunctly distributed in Asia and the New World. The classification of Magnolia s.l. has been highly controversial among taxonomists, varying from one genus with several subgenera, sections, and subsections to several (up to 16) genera. We conducted a comprehensive phylogenetic study of Magnoliaceae on the basis of sequences of the complete chloroplast genomes with a broad taxon sampling of 86 species. The phylogenetic analyses strongly support 15 major clades within Magnolia s.l. due to the non‐monophyly of subgen. Magnolia, the previous subgeneric treatment that recognizes three subgenera, is not supported. Based on the phylogenetic, morphological, and geographic evidence, we recognize two subfamilies in Magnoliaceae: Liriodendroideae and Magnolioideae, each with one genus, Liriodendron and Magnolia, respectively. Magnolia is herein classified into 15 sections: sects. Magnolia, Manglietia, Michelia, Gwillimia, Gynopodium, Kmeria, Maingola, Oyama, Rytidospermum, Splendentes, Talauma, Tuliparia, Macrophylla, Tulipastrum, and Yulania.

Key words: classification, genome skimming, Magnolia, Magnoliaceae, plastome, taxonomy