Systematics and Evolution of Commiphora Jacq. (Burseraceae) in Madagascar




Gostel, Morgan Robert

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The myrrh genus, Commiphora, comprises a clade of nearly 200 species of shrubs and trees that grow in warm tropical regions in Africa, Madagascar, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian sub-continent, and South America. Commiphora is the most species-rich genus in the frankincense and myrrh family, Burseraceae, and species belonging to this genus are ecologically important throughout their range in eastern, sub-Saharan Africa and western Madagascar. Aromatic oleoresins extracted from several species have been used extensively as an olfactory aesthetic and medicine with demonstrated pharmacological benefits throughout both antiquity and in contemporary folk medicinal practices. Despite its diversity and ecological and economical significance, evolutionary relationships in the genus are poorly understood and few studies have sought to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of Commiphora. As a result, species boundaries and infrageneric relationships of this widespread group of plants are not well characterized. Species of Commiphora are



Systematic biology, Biology, Environmental science, Botany, Evolution, Molecular markers, Phylogenetics