Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 126, Issue 3, pp 351–361 | Cite as

Polyphyly of the Padus group of Prunus (Rosaceae) and the evolution of biogeographic disjunctions between eastern Asia and eastern North America

Regular paper


Prunus subgenus Padus is a group with a wide distribution in temperate eastern Asia and eastern North America with one species extending to Europe and one to Central America. Phylogenetic relationships of subgenus Padus were reconstructed using sequences of nuclear ribosomal ITS, and plastid ndhF gene, and rps16 intron and rpl16 intron. Prunus subgenus Padus is shown to be polyphyletic. Taxa of subgenus Padus and subgenus Laurocerasus are highly intermixed in both the ITS and the plastid trees. The results support two disjunctions between eastern North America and Eurasia within the Padus group. One disjunction is between Prunus virginiana of eastern North America and P. padus of Eurasia, estimated to have diverged at 2.99 (95 % HPD 0.59–6.15)–4.1 (95 % HPD 0.63–8.59) mya. The other disjunction is between P. serotina and its Asian relatives. The second disjunction may have occurred earlier than the former one, but the age estimate is difficult due to the unresolved phylogenetic position of the P. serotina complex.


Biogeography Asian–North American disjunction Padus Phylogeny Prunus Rosaceae 



We thank John Clark, Tao Deng, Michael Dillon, Steve Ginzsbarg, Ruth Kiew, Sue Lutz, Ying Meng, Michael Nee, Elizabeth Widjaja, Tingshuang Yi, Tze Leung Yao, and Zhuo Zhou for assistance in obtaining samples and/or field assistance. The study was supported by the China Scholarship Council, the National Science Foundation (NSF Award number DEB 0515431), the Natural Science Foundation of China (Project no. 30625004 to J. Wen and T. Yi), the Smithsonian Endowment Program, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 31129001), and the Laboratory of Analytical Biology of the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution. Staff of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University kindly provided samples for the study.

Supplementary material

10265_2012_535_MOESM1_ESM.doc (186 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 186 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life ScienceNorthwest Agriculture and Forest UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.Department of BotanyNational Museum of Natural History, MRC 166, Smithsonian InstitutionWashington, DCUSA
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Plant Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina

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