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Keywords:

  • Bonin Islands;
  • bryophytes;
  • chloroplast DNA sequences;
  • Leucobryum ;
  • Leucobryum boninense ;
  • matK ;
  • molecular phylogeny;
  • Musci;
  • oceanic island

Abstract

Leucobryum boninense is endemic to the Bonin Islands, Japan, and its related species are widely distributed in Asia and the Pacific. We aimed to clarify the phylogenetic relationships among Leucobryum species and infer the origin of L. boninense. We also describe the utility of the chloroplast trnK intron including matK for resolving the phylogenetic relationships among Leucobryum species, as phylogenetic analyses using trnK intron and/or matK have not been performed well in bryophytes to date. Fifty samples containing 15 species of Leucobryum from Asia and the Pacific were examined for six chloroplast DNA regions including rbcL, rps4, partial 5′ trnK intron, matK, partial 3′ trnK intron, and trnL-F intergenic spacer plus one nuclear DNA region including ITS. A molecular phylogenetic tree showed that L. boninense made a clade with L. scabrum from Japan, Taiwan and, Hong Kong; L. javense which is widely distributed in East and Southeast Asia, and L. pachyphyllum and L. seemannii restricted to the Hawaii Islands, as well as with L. scaberulum from the Ryukyus, Japan, Taiwan, and southeastern China. Leucobryum boninense from various islands of the Bonin Islands made a monophylic group that was closely related to L. scabrum and L. javense from Japan. Therefore, Lboninense may have evolved from L. scabrum from Japan, Taiwan, or Hong Kong, or L. javense from Japan. We also described the utility of trnK intron including matK. A percentage of the parsimony-informative characters in trnK intron sequence data (5.8%) was significantly higher than that from other chloroplast regions, rbcL (2.4%) and rps4 (3.2%) sequence data. Nucleotide sequence data of the trnK intron including matK are more informative than other chloroplast DNA regions for identifying the phylogenetic relationships among Leucobryum species.