, Volume 88, Issue 8, pp 933-944

Phylogenetic analysis of organellar DNA sequences in the Andropogoneae: Saccharinae

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To study the phylogenetics of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) and its relatives we sequenced four loci on cytoplasmic genomes (two chloroplast and two mitochondrial) and analyzed mitochondrial RFLPs generated using probes for COXI, COXII, COXIII, Cob, 18S+5S, 26S, ATPase 6, ATPase 9, and ATPase α (D'Hont et al. 1993). Approximately 650 bp of DNA in the intergenic spacer region between rbcL and atpB and approximately 150 bp from the chloroplast 16S rDNA through the intergenic spacer region tRNAval gene were sequenced. In the mitochondrial genome, part of the 18S rRNA gene and approximately 150 bp from the 18S gene 3′ end, through an intergenic spacer region, to the 5S rRNA gene were sequenced. No polymorphisms were observed between maize, sorghum, and ‘Saccharum complex’ members for the mitochondrial 18S internal region or for the intergenic tRNAval chloroplast locus. Two polymorphisms (insertion-deletion events, indels) were observed within the 18S-5S mitochondrial locus, which separated the accessions into three groups: one containing all of the Erianthus, Eccoilopus, Imperata, Sorghum, and 1 Miscanthus species; a second containing Saccharum species, Narenga porphyrocoma, Sclerostachya fusca, and 1 presumably hybrid Miscanthus sp. from New Guinea; and a third containing maize. Eighteen accessions were sequenced for the intergenic region between rbcL and atpB, which was the most polymorphic of the regions studied and contained 52 site mutations and 52 indels, across all taxa. Within the Saccharum complex, at most 7 site mutations and 16 indels were informative. The maternal lineage of Erianthus/Eccoilopus was nearly as divergent from the remaining Saccharum complex members as it was from sorghum, in agreement with a previous study. Sequences from the rbcL-atpB spacer were aligned with GENBANK sequences for wheat, rice, barley, and maize, which were used as outgroups in phylogenetic analyses. To determine whether limited intra-complex variability was caused by under sampling of taxa, we used seven restriction enzymes to digest the PCR-amplified rbcL-atpB spacer of an additional 36 accessions within the Saccharum complex. This analysis revealed ten restriction sites (none informative) and eight length variants (four informative). The small amount of variation present in the organellar DNAs of this polyploid complex suggests that either the complex is very young or that rates of evolution between the Saccharum complex and outgroup taxa are different. Other phylogenetic information will be required to resolve systematic relationships within the complex. Finally, no variation was observed in commercial sugarcane varieties, implying a world-wide cytoplasmic monoculture for this crop.

Communicated by A. R. Hallauer