The Arbutoideae are a subfamily in the flowering plant family Ericaceae. Phylogenetic analysis supported all genera of the subfamily as monophyletic, except Arbutus.[1] Moreover, it was suggested that the sister relationship between Mediterranean and North American species may be explained by a once widespread distribution in the Northern hemisphere before the Neogene.[1]

The genera Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Comarostaphylis form a particular type of mycorrhizal symbiosis with fungi resembling ectomycorrhizas; it is termed arbutoid mycorrhiza.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b Hileman LC, Vasey MC, Parker VT. (2001). "Phylogeny and Biogeography of the Arbutoideae (Ericaceae): Implications for the Madrean-Tethyan Hypothesis". Systematic Biology 26 (1): 131–143. doi:10.1043/0363-6445-26.1.131. 
  2. ^ Osmundsen TW, Halling RE, den Bakker HC. (2007). "Morphological and molecular evidence supporting an arbutoid mycorrhizal relationship in the Costa Rican páramo". Fungal Diversity 17 (3): 217–222. doi:10.1007/s00572-006-0098-x. 
  3. ^ Smith SE, Read D. (2008). Mycorrhizal Symbiosis (3rd ed.). Amsterdam; Boston: Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-370526-6. 
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