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Phylogeny and biogeography of Allium (Amaryllidaceae: Allieae) based on nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer and chloroplast rps16 sequences, focusing on the inclusion of species endemic to China

Li, Qin-Qin, Zhou, Song-Dong, He, Xing-Jin, Yu, Yan, Zhang, Yu-Cheng, Wei, Xian-Qin
Annals of botany 2010 v.106 no.5 pp. 709-733
Allium, ancestry, biogeography, genetic distance, indigenous species, internal transcribed spacers, phylogeny, statistical analysis, taxonomy, China
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The genus Allium comprises more than 800 species, placing it among the largest monocotyledonous genera. It is a variable group that is spread widely across the Holarctic region. Previous studies of Allium have been useful in identifying and assessing its evolutionary lineages. However, there are still many gaps in our knowledge of infrageneric taxonomy and evolution of Allium. Further understanding of its phylogeny and biogeography will be achieved only through continued phylogenetic studies, especially of those species endemic to China that have often been excluded from previous analyses. Earlier molecular studies have shown that Chinese Allium is not monophyletic, so the goal of the present study was to infer the phylogeny and biogeography of Allium and to provide a classification of Chinese Allium by placement of Chinese species in the context of the entire phylogeny. METHODS: Phylogenetic studies were based on sequence data of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and chloroplast rps16 intron, analysed using parsimony and Bayesian approaches. Biogeographical patterns were conducted using statistical dispersal-vicariance analysis (S-DIVA). KEY RESULTS: Phylogenetic analyses indicate that Allium is monophyletic and consists of three major clades. Optimal reconstructions have favoured the ancestors of Amerallium, Anguinum, Vvedenskya, Porphyroprason and Melanocrommyum as originating in eastern Asia. CONCLUSIONS: Phylogenetic analyses reveal that Allium is monophyletic but that some subgenera are not. The large genetic distances imply that Allium is of ancient origin. Molecular data suggest that its evolution proceeded along three separate evolutionary lines. S-DIVA indicates that the ancestor of Amerallium, Anguinum, Vvedenskya, Porphyroprason and Melanocrommyum originated from eastern Asia and underwent different biogeographical pathways. A taxonomic synopsis of Chinese Allium at sectional level is given, which divides Chinese Allium into 13 subgenera and 34 sections.