Bloodwood eucalypt diversity – one or more genera?
Dr Michael Bayly
University of Melbourne
This project used next-generation DNA sequencing techniques to assess the big question of the classification of the bloodwoods. Researchers aimed to produce a robust phylogenetic tree of the bloodwoods and their relationships to Angophora and Eucalyptus, thus establishing whether Corymbiais a single lineage, and thus one genus, or should be taxonomically split.
Preliminary phylogenetic analyses of whole chloroplast genomes point to the genus Corymbia consisting of two major lineages that do not form one group (i.e. Corymbiais not monophyletic). Angophora may well be nested within Corymbia, with Corymbiasubgenus Blakellabeing more closely related to Angophora than it is to the red bloodwoods. This is a controversial and highly significant taxonomic issue of widespread interest. It implies that taxonomic changes at the generic level will be required. This impacts all herbaria in Australia in reclassifying their specimen collections,