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Millet fields in Annapurna.png
Finger millet (Eleusine coracana) in Nepal
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Chloridoideae

Chloridoideae is one of the largest subfamilies of grasses, with roughly 130 genera and 1,600 species, mainly found in arid tropical or subtropical grasslands. Within the PACMAD clade, their sister group are the Danthonioideae.[1] The subfamily includes widespread weeds such as Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) or goosegrass (Eleusine indica), but also millet species grown in some tropical regions, namely finger millet (Eleusine coracana) and teff (Eragrostis tef).

With the exception of some species in Ellisochloa, most of the subfamily's species use the C4 photosynthetic pathway. The first evolutionary transition from C3 to C4 photosynthesis in the grasses probably occurred in this subfamily, around 32 to 25 million years ago in the Oligocene.[2]


Relationships of tribes in the Chloridoideae according to a 2015 phylogenetic classification, also showing the Danthonioideae as sister group:[1]









  1. ^ a b Soreng, Robert J.; Peterson, Paul M.; Romschenko, Konstantin; Davidse, Gerrit; Zuloaga, Fernando O.; Judziewicz, Emmet J.; Filgueiras, Tarciso S.; Davis, Jerrold I.; Morrone, Osvaldo (2015). "A worldwide phylogenetic classification of the Poaceae (Gramineae)". Journal of Systematics and Evolution. 53 (2): 117–137. doi:10.1111/jse.12150. ISSN 1674-4918.  open access publication - free to read
  2. ^ Christin, Pascal-Antoine; Besnard, Guillaume; Samaritani, Emanuela; Duvall, Melvin R.; Hodkinson, Trevor R.; Savolainen, Vincent; Salamin, Nicolas (2008). "Oligocene CO2 Decline Promoted C4 Photosynthesis in Grasses". Current Biology. 18 (1): 37–43. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2007.11.058. ISSN 0960-9822.  open access publication - free to read