Project groups


The pantropical Ochnaceae belong to the large order Malpighiales and comprise about 500 species in 27 genera. The systematics, evolution and especially their historical biogeography are still poorly understood. We provide the first comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the family and reconstruct the evolution of key characters and the historical biogeography. Important questions refer to the factors triggering the radiations in the Neotropics and in Africa as well as to the role of dispersal mechanisms behind the pantropical distribution.

This study is conducted in cooperation with Prof. Dr. L.W. Chatrou, Pulcherie Bissiengou (Wageningen University, Holland), Prof. Dr. M.S.M. Sosef (Botanic Garden, Meise, Belgium), Prof. Dr. M.C.E. Amaral (University of Campinas, Brazil) and Dr. M. Fay (RBG Kew).

This project is additionally funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


Picone, B., Masters, J., Silvestro, D., Sineo, L. & M. Del Pero (2011) : A Phylogenetic Analysis of Human Syntenies revealed by Chromosome Painting in Euarchontoglires Orders. - Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 18:131-146.

Schneider, J.V. & G. Zizka (2012) : Taxonomic Revision of the Neotropical Genus Lacunaria (Quiinaceae / Ochnaceae s.l.). - Systematic Botany 37 (1): 165-188.

Schulte, K. & G. Zizka (2008) : Multi locus plastid phylogeny of Bromelioideae (Bromeliaceae) gives new insights into the taxomomic utility of petal appendages and pollen characters. - Candollea 63 (2), 209-225.

Schulte, K., Silvestro, D., Kiehlmann, E., Vesely, S., Novoa, P. & G. Zizka (2010) : Detection of recent hybridization between sympatric Chilean Puya species (Bromeliaceae) using AFLP markers and reconstruction of complex relationships. - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57: 1105–1119.

Tirelli, T., Silvestro, D., Pessani, D. & C.C. Tudge (2010) : Description of the male reproductive system of Paguristes eremita (Anomura, Diogenidae and its placement in a phylogeny of diogenid species based on spermatozoal and spermatophore ultrastructure. - Zoologischer Anzeiger 248: 299–312.