Phylogenetic Relationships of Amaryllidaceae Based on matK Sequence Data
gene, which is located in the chloroplast genome and evolves more quickly than the rbcL gene. A total of 31 species representing 31 of the 59 genera in the family were examined in this study. We also used 21 species from another ten families of Asparagales, four species from three families of Liliales and Acorus as outgroups. We obtained partial sequences of matK with lengths of 1,109–1,148 bp, corresponding to positions 230 to 1,343 of the Oryza sativa matK gene. The pairwise percentage sequence divergence ranged from 0 to 19.1% for all the species examined except Acorus, and 0 to 4.6% within Amaryllidaceae. Two methods of phylogenetic analysis, the Maximum Parsimony and Neighbor-Joining methods, were used. The trees obtained from these two analyses were fundamentally consistent. In both trees, the Amaryllidaceae sensu Dahlgren et al. formed a well-supported monophyletic clade with 100% bootstrap support. Amaryllidaceae were included in the Asparagales; however, its phylogenetic position within the Asparagales was not clearly resolved. Judging from the NJ tree, Agapanthus might be a sister group of the Amaryllidaceae, although bootstrap support for this was low. Character-state mapping was used to infer a center of origin and the biogeographic history of Amaryllidaceae. The result supports the hypothesis that the family evolved in Africa and subsequently spread to other continents, further suggesting that South America is the center of secondary diversification.
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