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Am J Bot. 2001 Dec;88(12):2331-45.

Phylogeny and quaternary history of the European montane/alpine endemic Soldanella (Primulaceae) based on ITS and AFLP variation.

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  • 1Institut für Spezielle Botanik und Botanischer Garten, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, 55099 Mainz, Germany.

Abstract

Soldanella contains 16 species of herbaceous perennials that are endemic to the central and south European high mountains. The genus is ecogeographically subdivided into forest/montane and alpine species. Evolutionary relationships and large-scale biogeographic patterns were inferred from parsimony analyses of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of nuclear ribosomal DNA, and genetic distance analyses based on amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. The ITS region proved useful for examining subgeneric relationships and testing hypotheses on genus-wide divergence times, whereas the AFLP markers were suitable for studying relationships among closely related taxa and biogeographic patterns of divergence. Neither ITS nor AFLP data supported sectional delimitations, particularly those related to the grouping of S. alpina (sect. Soldanella) with S. pusilla (sect. Tubiflores), which may be the result of hybridization. Additional results and conclusions drawn are (1) Soldanella is derived from an ancestor of Asian origin with a montane ecology; (2) estimates of divergence times suggest a late Quaternary origin of the genus; (3) alpine species of sect. Tubiflores diverged from within a paraphyletic sect. Soldanella of mainly montane species; (4) alpine and montane species of Soldanella experienced different cycles of range expansion and contraction during late Quaternary climatic changes, resulting in differential patterns of geographic distribution; and (5) AFLP divergence among montane species from eastern Europe was lower than between alpine species; we hypothesize that the latter differentiated in allopatric regions of expansion during glacials, while the former experienced secondary contact at lower elevations in more southern refugia.

PMID:
21669664
[PubMed]
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