The temperate bamboos (tribe Arundinarieae) are notorious for being taxonomically extremely difficult. China contains some of the world's greatest diversity of the tribe Arundinarieae, with most genera and species endemic. Previous investigation into phylogenetic relationships of the temperate bamboos revealed several major clades, but emphasis on the species-level relationships among taxa in North America and Japan. To further elucidate relationships among the temperate bamboos, a very broad sampling of Chinese representatives was examined. We produced 9463 bp of sequences from eight non-coding chloroplast regions for 146 species in 26 genera and 5 outgroups. The loci sequenced were atpI/H, psaA-ORF170, rpl32-trnL, rpoB-trnC, rps16-trnQ, trnD/T, trnS/G, and trnT/L. Phylogenetic analyses using maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference supported the monophyly of Arundinarieae. The two major subtribes, Arundinariinae and Shibataeinae, defined on the basis of different synflorescence types, were indicated to be polyphyletic. Most genera in this tribe were confirmed to be paraphyletic or polyphyletic. The cladograms suggest that Arundinarieae is divided into ten major lineages. In addition to six lineages suggested in a previous molecular study (Bergbamboes, the African alpine bamboos, Chimonocalamus, the Shibataea clade, the Phyllostachys clade, and the Arundinaria clade), four additional lineages were recovered in our results, each represented by a single species: Gaoligongshania megalothyrsa, Indocalamus sinicus, Indocalamus wilsonii, Thamnocalamus spathiflorus. Our analyses also indicate that (1) even more than 9000 bp of fast-evolving plastid sequence data cannot resolve the inter- and infra-relationships among and within the ten lineages of the tribe Arundinarieae; (2) an extensive sampling is indispensable for phylogeny reconstruction in this tribe, especially given that many genera appear to be paraphyletic or polyphyletic. Perhaps the ideal way to further illuminate relationships among the temperate bamboos is to sample multiple nuclear loci or whole chloroplast sequences in order to obtain sufficient variation. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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