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Am J Bot. 2005 May;92(5):775-88. doi: 10.3732/ajb.92.5.775.

Phylogeny of PgiC gene in Shorea and its closely related genera (Dipterocarpaceae), the dominant trees in Southeast Asian tropical rain forests.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Kyushu University, 4-2-1 Ropponmatsu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-8560, Japan;


Dipterocarpaceae, trees that dominate tropical rain forests in Southeast Asia consist of many economically and ecologically important species. We determined partial sequences of the PgiC gene from species of Shorea, Hopea, Neobalanocarpus, and Parashorea to elucidate phylogenetic relationships among the species of these genera, which have been regarded as interrelated. The sequences generated a gene tree with better resolution than previous cpDNA trees. The PgiC tree is essentially consistent with cpDNA trees, except for the placement of Neobalanocarpus. The PgiC tree shows that Neobalanocarpus is nested within White Meranti of Shorea, whereas this genus forms a clade with Hopea in cpDNA trees. This conflict suggests that Neobalanocarpus is derived via hybridization between White Meranti of Shorea and Hopea. Species belonging to each of three timber groups (Yellow Meranti, Balau, and Red Meranti) within Shorea are monophyletic. Together they form a monophyletic clade distinct from White Meranti. Botanical sections within Red Meranti appear not to be monophyletic. An extensive number of shared polymorphisms among species and consequential lack of monophyly of intraspecific haplotypes are found in Red Meranti. Potential causes of this phenomenon, including persistence of ancestral polymorphisms and gene flow via interspecific hybridization, are discussed.

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