Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 127, Issue 2, pp 249–263 | Cite as

Molecular phylogeny and genetic variation in the genus Lilium native to China based on the internal transcribed spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA

  • Yun-peng Du
  • Heng-bin He
  • Zhong-xuan Wang
  • Shuang Li
  • Chi Wei
  • Xiao-na Yuan
  • Qi Cui
  • Gui-xia Jia
Regular Paper


We present a comprehensive phylogeny derived from nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) for 214 samples representing 98 species and five varieties, including 44 species and five varieties native to China. Our collection of 25 species and five varieties (44 samples) covering all five sections of the genus (Comber) distributed in China also were included in the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) database. This study incorporates previous research with an emphasis on Chinese species, including the controversial subsection, Sinomartagon 5c Comber. In the phylogenetic tree obtained by maximum parsimony (PAUP) and maximum likelihood (RAxML) analyses, the samples were divided into four major groups. Our results suggest that the subsection (subsect.) 5c Comber should be classified into the true subsect. 5c and the section (sect.) Lophophorum. And the latter was divided into three subsections (subsect. Lophophorum I, subsect. Lophophorum II, and subsect. Lophophorum III). Based on molecular phylogenetic analysis and fluorescence in situ hybridization, we report that L. henryi and L. rosthornii are closely related, and we propose their classification into subsect. Leucolirion 6a. Our results support Comber’s subdivision of sect. Leucolirion, which was primarily based on bulb color. Chinese species were divided into five sections: sect. Martagon, sect. Archelirion, sect. Leucolirion, sect. Sinomartagon, and sect. Lophophorum. These findings contribute to our understanding of the phylogeny, origin, and classification of Lilium.


China ITS DNA sequences Lilium Phylogeny Sequence polymorphism 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 31071819), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Project No. BLYJ201207), special Fund for Forestry Scientific Research in the Public Interest (Project No. 201204609). We express our gratitude to Prof Shi-liang Zhou and Dr. Wen-pan Dong for providing technical assistance (LSEB Lab, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Prof. Shou-yu Guo and Dr. Qing Ding (Chinese Academy of Microbiology) for their suggestions on the earlier version and improving the English of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yun-peng Du
    • 1
  • Heng-bin He
    • 1
  • Zhong-xuan Wang
    • 1
  • Shuang Li
    • 1
  • Chi Wei
    • 1
  • Xiao-na Yuan
    • 1
  • Qi Cui
    • 1
  • Gui-xia Jia
    • 1
  1. 1.National Engineering Research Center for Flowers, College of Landscape ArchitectureBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingChina

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