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Heredity (Edinb). 2002 Apr;88(4):322-9.

Phylogeographical structure revealed by chloroplast DNA variation in Japanese beech (Fagus crenata Blume).

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Faculty of Agriculture, Ehime University, 3-5-7 Tarumi, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8566, Japan.


Intraspecific genetic variation in three non-coding chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) regions (trnT-L and trnL-F spacers, and trnL intron) of Japanese beech (Fagus crenata Blume) was investigated. This species is a major constituent of the typical cool-temperate deciduous forests in Japan. Twenty-one F. crenata populations from throughout Japan, and four F. japonica populations, a close relative of F. crenata, were examined. Seven haplotypes were distinguishable in F. crenata based on nucleotide substitutions and indels. Pairwise nucleotide diversities among haplotypes ranged from 0.0000 to 0.0042 for F. crenata, including F. japonica. The geographical distribution of cpDNA haplotypes was found to be highly structured in F. crenata. Four haplotypes predominated: haplotypes FC1 and FC4 are prevalent on the Pacific Ocean coast, haplotype FC6 is prevalent on the Japan sea coast from the San-in district to Hokkaido, whilst haplotype FC3 is restricted to northern Kyushu and the western-most part of Honshu. Two haplotypes (FC5 and FC7) are restricted to single populations and one haplotype (FC2) is a derivative of FC1. Each of these haplotypes, except FC2, are thought to be derived from different glacial refugia. Phylogenetic analysis showed that neither F. crenata nor F. japonica was monophyletic for the haplotypes, suggesting either ancestral polymorphism or ancient introgression between the lineages of these two Fagus species.

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