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The complex evolutionary dynamics of ancient and recent polyploidy in Leucaena (Leguminosae; Mimosoideae)

Govindarajulu, Rajanikanth, Hughes, Colin E., Alexander, Patrick J., Bailey, C. Donovan
American journal of botany 2011 v.98 no.12 pp. 2064-2076
Leucaena, allopatry, allopolyploidy, ancestry, chloroplast DNA, diploidy, flowering, genome, geographical distribution, humans, hybridization, loci, nucleotide sequences, parents, phylogeny, seeds, tetraploidy
• Premise of the study: The evolutionary history of Leucaena has been impacted by polyploidy, hybridization, and divergent allopatric species diversification, suggesting that this is an ideal group to investigate the evolutionary tempo of polyploidy and the complexities of reticulation and divergence in plant diversification. • METHODS: Parsimony- and ML-based phylogenetic approaches were applied to 105 accessions sequenced for six sequence characterized amplified region-based nuclear encoded loci, nrDNA ITS, and four cpDNA regions. Hypotheses for the origin of tetraploid species were inferred using results derived from a novel species tree and established gene tree methods and from data on genome sizes and geographic distributions. • RESULTS: The combination of comprehensively sampled multilocus DNA sequence data sets and a novel methodology provide strong resolution and support for the origins of all five tetraploid species. A minimum of four allopolyploidization events are required to explain the origins of these species. The origin(s) of one tetraploid pair (L. involucrata/L. pallida) can be equally explained by two unique allopolyploidizations or a single event followed by divergent speciation. • CONCLUSIONS: Alongside other recent findings, a comprehensive picture of the complex evolutionary dynamics of polyploidy in Leucaena is emerging that includes paleotetraploidization, diploidization of the last common ancestor to Leucaena, allopatric divergence among diploids, and recent allopolyploid origins for tetraploid species likely associated with human translocation of seed. These results provide insights into the role of divergence and reticulation in a well-characterized angiosperm lineage and into traits of diploid parents and derived tetraploids (particularly self-compatibility and year-round flowering) favoring the formation and establishment of novel tetraploids combinations.