, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 663-678

Classification and phylogenetic relationships in Solanum section Lycopersicon based on AFLP and two nuclear gene sequences

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The classification and phylogeny of the species belonging to Solanum section Lycopersicon is a complex issue that has not yet reached a widely accepted consensus. These species diverged recently, are still closely related and, in some cases, are still even capable of interspecific hybridization, thereby blurring the difference between intra- and interspecific variation. To help resolve these issues, in the present study, several accessions covering the natural range for each species were used. In addition, to avoid biases due to the molecular method employed, both AFLP markers and two nuclear-gene sequences, CT179 and CT66, were used to characterize the plant materials. The data obtained suggest a classification similar to those previously proposed by other authors, although with some significant changes. Twelve species were recognized as distinct based on this dataset. According to the data presented, the recently proposed species, S. corneliomulleri, is indistinguishable from S. peruvianum s.str. In addition, both the sequence and the AFLP trees suggest that S. arcanum could represent a complex of populations composed of two cryptic species. With regard to phylogenetic relationships among these species, some clear groups were found: the Lycopersicon group formed by S. pimpinellifolium, S. lycopersicum, S. cheesmaniae and S. galapagense; the Arcanum group constituted by S. chmielewskii, S. neorickii, S. arcanum and S. huaylasense; and the Eriopersicon group made up of S. peruvianum and S. chilense. Solanum pennellii and S. habrochaites are not included in any group, but are the closest to the S. lycopersicoides outgroup.

Jose Blanca and Fernando Nuez have contributed equally to this work and should be regarded as co-second authors.