Studies in the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae)

Researchers:
Dr Peter Wilson Ms Margaret Heslewood Dr Barbara Rye (Western Australian Herbarium) Dr Matt Barrett (Kings Park and Botanic Garden, perth) Dr Berhaman Ahmad (University Malaysia, Sabah)
Project sponsors:
Australian Biological Resources Study

Project aims

  • Refine our understanding of the genera of the Myrtaceae and their relationships using the physical characteristics of the plants as well as DNA data 
  • Use DNA data to test relationships in traditional classifications based on morphology.
  • Revise generic concepts in line with DNA findings. These may results in either combining genera or describing new genera. 
  • Produce taxonomic revisions and Flora treatment

Project Summary

Generic level projects are reassessing species and genera in the genera Tristaniopsis and Xanthostemon in Australia and neighbouring countries. Larger projects focus particularly on the groups of genera related to the Geraldton Wax plants (tribe Chamelaucieae) and to the group of species related to Tea Trees (tribe Leptospermeae). DNA data has been used to determine if tradition generic concepts are valid, i.e. they each represent members of a single evolutionary lineage. 

Research Update

Species formerly attributed to the genus Babingtonia in eastern Australia have been revised into three genera. Work is in progress to recognise subtribes in the Chamelaucieae and to revise the concept of the genus Leptospermum.