Phylogeographically concordant chloroplast DNA divergence in sympatric Nothofagus s.s. How deep can it be?
Author for correspondence:
Andrea C. Premoli
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- •Here, we performed phylogenetic analyses and estimated the divergence times on mostly sympatric populations of five species within subgenus Nothofagus. We aimed to investigate whether phylogenetic relationships by nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and phylogeographic patterns by chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) mirror an ancient evolutionary history that was not erased by glacial eras. Extant species are restricted to Patagonia and share a pollen type that was formerly widespread in all southern land masses. Weak reproductive barriers exist among them.
- •Fifteen cpDNA haplotypes resulted from the analysis of three noncoding regions on 330 individuals with a total alignment of 1794 bp. Nuclear ITS data consisted of 822 bp. We found a deep cpDNA divergence dated 32 Ma at mid-latitudes of Patagonia that predates the phylogenetic divergence of extant taxa. Other more recent breaks by cpDNA occurred towards the north.
- •Complex paleogeographic features explain the genetic discontinuities. Long-lasting paleobasins and marine ingressions have impeded transoceanic dispersal during range expansion towards lower latitudes under cooler trends since the Oligocene.
- •Cycles of hybridization–introgression among extant and extinct taxa have resulted in widespread chloroplast capture events. Our data suggest that Nothofagus biogeography will be resolved only if thorough phylogeographic analyses and molecular dating methods are applied using distinct genetic markers.