The largest genus within the Phyllanthaceae family is a group called Phyllanthus L. Recent studies have shown, that Phyllanthus is paraphyletic with the genera Glochidion, Breynia and Synostemon nested within it. In this thesis, I study the evolution and systematics of Phyllanthus and how to solve the apparent paraphyly. First we explore past morphological subgroups to come to a subdivision, which was tested using molecular phylogenetics. Several species of Phyllanthus are also used in traditional medicine and by utilizing the living collections of the Hortus botanicus Leiden, we tested for antibacterial and antifungal bioactivity. The phylogeny resulting from this study is used to study the historical biogeography and diversification of the tribe and to propose a new classification where Phyllanthus is separated into several smaller genera.

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Staff publications

Bouman, R.W. (2022, December 6). Disentangling a complex genus: systematics, biogeography and bioactivity of the genus Phyllanthus L. and related genera of tribe Phyllantheae (Phyllanthaceae).

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