Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 63–73

Phylogeographic structure of Terminalia franchetii (Combretaceae) in southwest China and its implications for drainage geological history

Regular Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10265-010-0360-3

Cite this article as:
Zhang, T. & Sun, H. J Plant Res (2011) 124: 63. doi:10.1007/s10265-010-0360-3


Following the rapid uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the reorganization of the major river drainages in southwest China was primarily caused by river capture events. However, the impact of these past changes in drainage patterns on the current distribution and genetic structure of the endemic flora of this region remains largely unknown. Here we report a survey of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) in Terminalia franchetii, an endemic shrub or small tree of the deep and dry-hot river valleys of this region. We surveyed AFLP variation within and among 21 populations (251 individuals) of T. franchetii, distributed disjunctively between northern and southern drainage systems. Using STRUCTURE, principal coordinates analysis, and genetic distance methods, we identified two main population genetic groups (I and II) and four subgroups within the species, as follows: (I) the Upper Jinshajiang Valley (subgroup I(north)) and the Honghe drainage area (subgroup I(south)); (II) the Middle and Lower Jinshajiang and Yalongjiang Valleys (subgroup II(north)) and the Nanpanjiang drainage area (subgroup II(south)). Genetic diversity was lower in group I than in group II. According to the genetic diversity and genetic structure results, we suggest that the modern disjunctive distribution and associated patterns of genetic structure of T. franchetii result from vicariance caused by several historical drainage capture events, involving the separation of the Upper Jinshajiang, Yalongjiang and Daduhe from the Honghe or Nanpanjiang in southwest China.


AFLPPhylogeographyRiver captureSouthwest ChinaTerminalia franchetii

Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and BiogeographyKunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of ScienceKunmingChina
  2. 2.Graduate School of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina