Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 301, Issue 4, pp 1123–1134 | Cite as

Phylogenetic relationships in Opuntia (Cactaceae, Opuntioideae) from southern South America

  • María F. Realini
  • Graciela E. González
  • Fabián Font
  • Pablo I. Picca
  • Lidia Poggio
  • Alexandra M. GottliebEmail author
Original Article


The patterns of relationships between species of Opuntia from southern South America are scarcely known in spite of the importance of this region as a diversification center for the Cactaceae. This paper contributes to the better understanding of the genetic and phylogenetic relationships of 15 Opuntia species from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay by generating new genetic data through Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) genotyping and the sequencing of plastid intergenic spacers trnL-trnF and psbJ-petA. The species surveyed are: O. anacantha, O. arechavaletae, O. aurantiaca, O. bonaerensis, O. colubrina, O. discolor, O. elata, O. megapotamica, O. monacantha, O. penicilligera, O. quimilo, O. salmiana, O. schickendantzii, O. sulphurea, and O. ventanensis. The genetic distance-based analysis of 110 ISSR bands, applying the Neighbor-Joining and NeighborNet algorithms, evidenced considerable intraspecific variation in O. aurantiaca, O. elata, O. discolor, and O. salmiana. The emergent clustering pattern and the species assignment to taxonomic series show a general agreement for Armatae and Aurantiacae. The phylogenetic relationships were investigated via haplotype network and maximum likelihood approaches, within a broader sampling that involves most species currently accepted for South America, and samples from throughout the American continent. Hence, 15 haplotypes are recognized for southern South American opuntias whereas eight haplotypes are established for Northern Hemisphere opuntias. Biparentally and maternally inherited genetic data yield partially consistent results, giving genetic support for morphologically defined taxonomic series.


Cacti ISSR Plastid intergenic spacers Phylogenetic analyses 



Several grants from the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (PIP 0342), the Universidad de Buenos Aires (EX178 and 20020100100859), the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Técnológica (PICT 2010-1665) and funding from the International Organization for Succulent Plant Study (IOS) are gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 53 kb)
606_2014_1154_MOESM2_ESM.doc (30 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 31 kb)
606_2014_1154_MOESM3_ESM.doc (102 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOC 102 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • María F. Realini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Graciela E. González
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fabián Font
    • 3
  • Pablo I. Picca
    • 4
  • Lidia Poggio
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexandra M. Gottlieb
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Laboratorio de Citogenética y Evolución (LaCyE)Universidad de Buenos Aires, IEGEBA (UBA-CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Museo de Farmacobotánica “Juan A. Domínguez”, Facultad de Farmacia y BioquímicaUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Laboratorio de Plantas VascularesUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina

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