In 1985, Dahlgren, Clifford, and Yeo defined their Alliaceae to include all of the genera that are now there, plus Agapanthus and a group of genera that are now placed in Themidaceae, or its equivalent, the subfamily Brodiaeoideae of Asparagaceae. They divided Alliaceae into three subfamilies: Agapanthoideae, Allioideae, and Gilliesioideae. Agapanthoideae consisted of Agapanthus and Tulbaghia. Allioideae contained two tribes: Brodiaeeae and a broadly defined Allieae. Gilliesioideae was composed of about half of the genera now placed in Gilliesieae, the rest being assigned to Allieae.
In 1996, a molecular phylogenetic study of the rbcL gene showed that Agapanthus was misplaced in Alliaceae, and the authors excluded it from the family. They also raised Brodiaeeae to family rank as Themidaceae. They reduced the tribe Allieae to two genera, Allium and Milula, and transferred the rest of Allieae to Gilliesieae. This is the circumscription which the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group accepted in the APG classification of 1998 and which later became known as Alliaceae sensu stricto.
In the APG II system of 2003, Alliaceae could be recognized sensu stricto or sensu lato, as mentioned above. Soon after the publication of APG II, the ICBN conserved the name Amaryllidaceae for the family that had been called Alliaceae sensu lato in APG II.
When the APG III system was published in 2009, the alternative circumscriptions were discontinued and Alliaceae was no longer recognized. Alliaceae sensu stricto became the subfamily Allioideae of Amaryllidaceae sensu lato. Some botanists have not strictly followed the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group and have recognized the smaller version of Alliaceae at family rank.
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