Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 264, Issue 3–4, pp 251–264 | Cite as

Extensive length variation in the cpDNA trnT-trnF region of hemiparasitic Pedicularis and its phylogenetic implications

  • F.-S. Yang
  • X.-Q. WangEmail author


The cpDNA trnT-trnF region, a molecular marker widely used in the phylogenetic reconstruction at lower taxonomic levels, is relatively conserved in size and structure. In this region single length variation over 100 bp is much less common than small deletion for congeneric species of angiosperms. Here we examined evolutionary patterns of the trnT-trnF region in 43 species of Pedicularis, a species-rich genus with adaptive radiation. Four independent large deletions, varying from 203 to 297 bp in length, were detected from nine species of the genus, which might result from slipped-strand mispairing. These deletions occurred in different locations of the cpDNA region and in different clades of the phylogenetic tree, indicating that the deletion of large cpDNA fragments may be very frequent in the hemiparasitic lineage of the family Orobanchaceae. Parsimony analyses showed that section Cyathophora of Pedicularis, endemic to the Sino-Himalayan region, was a strongly supported monophyletic group. This section could have a recent origin followed by rapid radiation, considering that it is characterized by a large deletion in the trnT-trnF region and a relatively low interspecific sequence divergence.


Sect. Cyathophora Pedicularis trnT-trnnrDNA ITS cpDNA deletion Sino-Himalaya 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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