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Genes Genet Syst. 2007 Dec;82(6):465-77.

Phylogeographic structure and late Quaternary population history of the Japanese oak Quercus mongolica var. crispula and related species revealed by chloroplast DNA variation.

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  • 1Faculty of Agriculture, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Japan.


Generally, oaks dominate the broadleaf deciduous forests in Japan. The genetic variation in 6 cpDNA regions (trnT-trnL, trnL-trnF, atpB-rbcL, and trnH-psbA speacers, trnL intron, and matK gene) with regard to the Japanese oak (Quercus mongolica var. crispula) and 3 related species in the section Prinus (Q. serrata, Q. dentata and Q. aliena) was investigated in 598 trees belonging to 44 populations distributed throughout the Japanese archipelago. Additional samples were collected from Korea, China, and Russia (Sakhalin). Thirteen haplotypes (I to XIII) were identified on the bases of 15 nucleotide substitutions and 3 indels. Haplotypes I and II were discovered in northeastern Japan, whereas haplotypes III to IX were distributed in southwestern Japan. The boundary distinguishing these 2 groups was located in central Japan coincident with the Itoigawa-Shzuoka tectonic line. Haplotype I was also found in Sakhalin, whereas haplotypes VI, VII, VIII, X, XI, XII, and XIII were found in Korea and China. Four oak species in the same location shared identical haplotypes, suggesting cpDNA introgression by occasional hybridization. Both the values of total haplotype diversity (HT) and haplotype diversity within populations (HS) in Q. mongolica var. crispula were higher in the southwestern populations than in the northeastern populations. A haplotype network indicated that haplotype VI is the ancestral haplotype. The presence of identical haplotypes in Korea, China, and Japan suggested that the haplotypes diversified on the Eurasian continent before the last glacial period. The difference in genetic structure between the northeastern and southwestern regions indicates a difference in the history of migration and recolonization in Japan during the last glacial period.

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