Yu Song, Wen-Bin Yu, Yun-Hong Tan, Jian-Jun Jin, Bo Wang, Jun-Bo Yang, Bing Liu, and Richard T. Corlett
The family Lauraceae is a major component of tropical and subtropical forests worldwide, and includes some commercially important timber trees and medicinal plants. However, phylogenetic relationships within Lauraceae have long been problematic due to low sequence divergence in commonly used markers, even between morphologically distinct taxa within the family. Here we present phylogenetic analyses of 43 newly generated Lauraceae plastomes together with 77 plastomes obtained from GenBank, representing 24 genera of Lauraceae and 17 related families of angiosperms, plus nine barcodes from 19 additional species in 18 genera of Lauraceae, in order to reconstruct highly supported relationships for the Lauraceae. Our phylogeny supports the relationships: sisterhood of the Lauraceae and a clade containing Hernandiaceae and Monimiaceae, with Atherospermataceae and Gomortegaceae being the next sister groups, followed by Calycanthaceae. Our results highlight a monophyletic Lauraceae, with nine well‐supported clades as follows: Hypodaphnis clade, Beilschmiedia –Cryptocarya clade, Cassytha clade, Neocinnamomum clade, Caryodaphnopsis clade, Chlorocardium –Mezilaurus clade, Machilus –Persea clade, Cinnamomum –Ocotea clade, and Laurus –Neolitsea clade. The topology recovered here is consistent with the patterns of plastome structural evolution and morphological synapomorphies reported previously. More specifically, flower sex, living type, inflorescence type, ovary position, anther locus number, leaf arrangement, leaf venation, lateral vein number, tree height, and inflorescence location all represent morphological synapomorphies of different lineages. Our findings have taxonomic implications and two new tribes, Caryodaphnopsideae and Neocinnamomeae, are described, and the composition of four other tribes is updated. The phylogeny recovered here provides a robust phylogenetic framework through which to address the evolutionary history of the Magnoliids, the third‐largest group of Mesangiospermae.