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Phylogeny and differentiation of the St genome in Elymus L. sensu lato (Triticeae; Poaceae) based on one nuclear DNA and two chloroplast genes

Dong, Zhen-Zhen, Fan, Xing, Sha, Li-Na, Wang, Yi, Zeng, Jian, Kang, Hou-Yang, Zhang, Hai-Qin, Wang, Xiao-Li, Zhang, Li, Ding, Chun-Bang, Yang, Rui-Wu, Zhou, Yong-Hong
BMC plant biology 2015 v.15 no.1 pp. 179
Agropyron, Elymus, Hordeum, Pseudoroegneria, allopolyploidy, ancestry, chloroplast genes, chloroplasts, diploidy, hybridization, intergenic DNA, internal transcribed spacers, intraspecific variation, models, nuclear genome, phylogeny, transcription (genetics), Central Asia, Europe, North America
BACKGROUND: Hybridization and polyploidization can be major mechanisms for plant evolution and speciation. Thus, the process of polyploidization and evolutionary history of polyploids is of widespread interest. The species in Elymus L. sensu lato are allopolyploids that share a common St genome from Pseudoroegneria in different combinations with H, Y, P, and W genomes. But how the St genome evolved in the Elymus s. l. during the hybridization and polyploidization events remains unclear. We used nuclear and chloroplast DNA-based phylogenetic analyses to shed some light on this process. RESULTS: The Maximum likelihood (ML) tree based on nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region (nrITS) data showed that the Pseudoroegneria, Hordeum and Agropyron species served as the St, H and P genome diploid ancestors, respectively, for the Elymus s. l. polyploids. The ML tree for the chloroplast genes (matK and the intergenic region of trnH-psbA) suggests that the Pseudoroegneria served as the maternal donor of the St genome for Elymus s. l. Furthermore, it suggested that Pseudoroegneria species from Central Asia and Europe were more ancient than those from North America. The molecular evolution in the St genome appeared to be non-random following the polyploidy event with a departure from the equilibrium neutral model due to a genetic bottleneck caused by recent polyploidization. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest the ancient common maternal ancestral genome in Elymus s. l. is the St genome from Pseudoroegneria. The evolutionary differentiation of the St genome in Elymus s. l. after rise of this group may have multiple causes, including hybridization and polyploidization. They also suggest that E. tangutorum should be treated as C. dahurica var. tangutorum, and E. breviaristatus should be transferred into Campeiostachys. We hypothesized that the Elymus s. l. species origined in Central Asia and Europe, then spread to North America. Further study of intraspecific variation may help us evaluate our phylogenetic results in greater detail and with more certainty.