Sparked by the publication of large phylogenetic studies and major generic redefinitions in the Gesneriaceae, we review this growing body of molecular studies on the family. Different aspects of molecular data and their use in Gesneriaceae systematics are considered including conceptual challenges on the phylogenetic work undertaken to date as well as an overview of taxon sampling in the family. Molecular data are currently available for 70 of 72 recognized New World genera and 64 of 68 Old World genera. Many of the smaller genera and some of the larger genera are completely sampled. Current knowledge of tribal and generic delineations and relationships among the New World genera is relatively advanced. In contrast, intergeneric relationships and tribal arrangements are mostly unresolved for the Old World genera. In this paper we illustrate and summarize the published phylogenetic work in composite phylogenies with an emphasis on the most pertinent and accurate molecular systematic studies. This paper provides the molecular-based background for a new formal classification of the family Gesneriaceae.
The state of molecular studies in the family Gesneriaceae