Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 276, Issue 1–2, pp 59–71 | Cite as

Molecular evolution of 35S rDNA and taxonomic status of Lycopersicon within Solanum sect. Petota

  • Nataliya Y. Komarova
  • Guido W. Grimm
  • Vera Hemleben
  • Roman A. Volkov
Original Article


To clarify the taxonomic status of tomatoes (“Lycopersicon”) and their relationship to the members of sect. Petota of genus Solanum L., organization of the rDNA external transcribed spacer (5′ ETS) was studied in 33 Solanum and “Lycopersicon” species. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed that three major groups can be distinguished. Non-tuber-bearing species of ser. Etuberosa as well as tuber-bearing Central American diploids appeared as a paraphyletic group. The first of two well-defined clades embraced all tuber-bearing South American species and Central American polyploids. The other clade (named “tomato clade”) contains non-tuber-bearing species of ser. Juglandifolia and tomato species of ser. Neolycopersicon, which appears to be imbedded in sect. Petota. The new 5′ ETS variant D characterized by a cluster of downstream subrepeats is characteristic for the tomato clade. The variant D originated directly from the most ancestral variant A found in ser. Etuberosa and the Central American diploids, whereas variants B and C specific for the tuber-bearing South American species and Central American polyploids represent a parallel lineage of molecular evolution. The sequence analysis demonstrates the existence of an evolutionary trend of parallel multiplication of specific motifs in 5′ ETS in different groups of sect. Petota.


External transcribed spacer Networks Phylogeny Potato Repeated sequence elements Tomato 



This work was supported by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, DFG (German Research Foundation) and DFFD (Ukrainian Fundamental Researches State Fund). Authors are grateful to C. M. Rick and F. H. Borgnino, University of California, Davis, USA, and to the seed collection of the Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung (IPK), Gatersleben, Germany, for providing seed material.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nataliya Y. Komarova
    • 1
  • Guido W. Grimm
    • 2
  • Vera Hemleben
    • 3
  • Roman A. Volkov
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Plant SciencesUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of GeosciencesUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Department of General Genetics, ZMBPUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Molecular Genetics and BiotechnologyUniversity of ChernivtsiChernivtsiUkraine

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