Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 190, Issue 3, pp 157–185

Comparisons of phylogenetic hypotheses among different data sets in dwarf dandelions (Krigia, Asteraceae): Additional information from internal transcribed spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA


  • K. -J. Kim
    • Department of BotanyUniversity of Texas
  • R. K. Jansen
    • Department of BotanyUniversity of Texas

DOI: 10.1007/BF00986191

Cite this article as:
Kim, K.-. & Jansen, R.K. Pl Syst Evol (1994) 190: 157. doi:10.1007/BF00986191


The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the 18 S–25 S nuclear ribosomal DNA repeat was sequenced from 19 populations of the tribeLactuceae, including all species of dwarf dandelion (Krigia) and five outgroup genera. The incidence of length changes and base substitutions was at least two times higher for ITS 1 than ITS 2. Interspecific sequence divergence withinKrigia averaged 9.62% (1.61%–15.19%) and 4.26% (0%–6.64%) in ITS 1 and ITS 2, respectively. Intergeneric sequence divergence ranged from 15.6% to 44.5% in ITS 1 and from 8.0% to 28.6% in ITS 2. High sequence divergence and homoplasy among genera of tribeLactuceae suggest that the phylogenetic utility of ITS sequence data is limited to interspecific studies or comparisons among closely related genera. Trees generated from ITS sequences are essentially identical to those from restriction site comparisons of the entire nuclear ribosomal (nr) DNA region. The degree of tree resolution differed depending on how gaps were treated in phylogenetic analyses. The ITS trees were congruent with the chloroplast DNA and morphological phylogenies in three major ways: 1) the sister group relationship betweenKrigia andPyrrhopappus; 2) the recognition of two monophyletic sections,Krigia andCymbia, in genusKrigia; and 3) the monophyly of theK. occidentalis-K. cespitosa clade in sect.Cymbia. However, the two nrDNA-based trees are not congruent with morphology/chloroplast DNA-based trees for the interspecific relationships in sect.Krigia. An average of 22.5% incongruence was observed among fourKrigia data sets. The relatively high degree of incongruence among data sets is due primarily to conflict between trees based on nrDNA and morphological/cpDNA data. The incongruence is probably due to the concerted evolution of nrDNA repeating units. The results fromKrigia and theLactuceae suggest that nrDNA data may have limited utility in phylogenetic studies of plants, especially in groups which exhibit high levels of sequence divergence. Our combined phylogenetic analysis as a total evidence shows the least conflict to each of the individual data sets.

Key words

AsteraceaeLactuceaeMicroseridinaeKrigiaInternal transcribed spacer (ITS)ITS region (ITS 1, 5.8 S rDNA, and ITS 2)intergenic spacer (IGS) regionnuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA)chloroplast DNA (cpDNA)sequence divergencepolymerase chain reaction (PCR)maximum parsimony (MP) treeneighbor joining (NJ) tree
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© Springer-Verlag 1994