, Volume 57, Issue 5, pp 667-677
Date: 09 Dec 2009

Phylogenetic network of Linum species as revealed by non-coding chloroplast DNA sequences

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Abstract

Crop wild relatives are invaluable sources of novel genes for crop improvement and adaptation to changing environments. We assessed phylogenetic relationships among 29 Linum accessions representing 16 species, including cultivated flax and its progenitor pale flax, based on four non-coding regions of chloroplast DNA sequences. We obtained a cpDNA network showing that these 16 Linum species are appropriately connected based on previously defined taxonomic sections; these connections reflect the same evolutionary pathways as determined from earlier morphological and cytological data. These relationships also support an earlier hypothesis that cultivated flax is probably descended from a single domestication of pale flax plants, apparently for oil usage. The detailed species network not only is significant for understanding evolutionary relationships of Linum species, but also useful for classifying exotic gene pools of cultivated flax as a part of the ongoing exploration of new genetic diversity for flax improvement.