Phylogenetic Analysis of Leymus (Poaceae: Triticeae) Inferred from Nuclear rDNA ITS Sequences
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To investigate the phylogenetic relationships of polyploid Leymus (Poaceae: Triticeae), sequences of the nuclear rDNA internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) were analyzed for 34 Leymus accessions representing 25 species, together with three Psathyrostachys species (Ns genome), two Pseudoroegneria (St genome) species, Lophopyrum elongatum (Ee genome), and Thinopyrumbessarabicum (Eb genome). The phylogenetic analyses (maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference) supported two major clades, one including 21 Leymus species and three Psathyrostachys species, the other with nine Leymus species and four diploid species. The ITS RNA secondary structure of the Leymus species was compared with that of their putative diploid donor. It is suggested that (1) the species from the same areas or neighboring geographic regions are closely related to each other; (2) L. coreanus, L. duthiei, L. duthiei var. longearistatus, and L. komarovii are closely related to other Leymus species, and it is reasonable to transfer these species from the genus Hystrix to Leymus; (3) the ITS sequences of Leymus are evolutionarily distinct; (4) the different Leymus species and different distribution of a species derived their Ns genome from different Psathyrostachys species; and (5) there is a close relationship among Leymus, Pseudoroegneria, Lophopyrum, and Thinopyrum, but it is difficult to presume that the St, Ee, and Eb genome may be the Xm genome donor of the Leymus species.