Phylogenetic relationships among genera of the subtribes Sonchinae (11 genera and ca. 130 species) and Dendroseridinae (2 genera and 12 species) sensu Bremer were assessed with ITS and matK gene sequences. The Sonchinae is strongly supported as paraphyletic, and subtribal rank of Dendroseridinae is poorly supported. This study re-delimits Sonchinae, which now includes 14 genera and ca. 146 species. Two genera, Reichardia and Launaea, diverge first, followed by a major radiation of the remaining species, including Dendroseris and Thamnoseris. The monotypic Aetheorhiza is more closely related to Sonchus than to Launaea. Sonchus is highly polyphyletic, occurring across nearly all clades of the trees. It is highly probable that several Pacific and Atlantic island endemics evolved within the Sonchus group. Polyploidization processes appear to have played an important role in evolutionary differentiation and speciation in Sonchus, especially in subgenus Sonchus. This study identifies 10 major clades within the Sonchinae, and emphasizes the need to re-delimit and re-circumscribe Sonchus and the Sonchinae. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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