Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 5243–5259 | Cite as

Phylogeny of kangaroo apples (Solanum subg. Archaesolanum, Solanaceae)

  • Péter PoczaiEmail author
  • Jaakko Hyvönen
  • David E. Symon


Kangaroo apples, subgenus Archaesolanum, are a unique and still poorly known group within the genus Solanum. Here we aimed to reveal phylogeny, historical biogeography and age of diversification of Archaesolanum. We sampled all recognized species of the group and sequenced three chloroplast regions, the trnT-trnL spacer, trnL intron and trnL-trnF spacer to calibrate a molecular clock to estimate the age of the group. Distributional data were combined with the results of phylogenetic analysis to track the historical processes responsible for the current range of the group. Our analysis supported the monophyly of the kangaroo apples and the biogeographical disjunction between the two subclades within the group. Based on the divergence time estimates the most recent common ancestor of kangaroo apples is from the late Miocene age (~9 MYA). Based on the age estimate the common ancestors of the kangaroo apples are presumed to have arrived in Australia by long-distance dispersal. The two distinct lineages within the group have separated during the aridification of the continent and further speciated in the brief resurgence of rainforests during the Pliocene.


Kangaroo apples Archaesolanum Solanum Australia Phylogeny 



We thank Donovan Parks, for his help and advice with the GenGIS analysis. This study was supported by the CIMO Fellowship Grant, Finland and by the Finnish Government’s Scholarship provided to the first author. We also thank several Botanical Gardens, collectors of the plant material, and colleagues at the University of Helsinki for helpful discussions and ideas. We thank the Willi Hennig Society for making the program TNT publicly available. This research represents a partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Plant Genetics and Biotechnology in the University of Pannonia, Hungary.

Supplementary material

11033_2011_675_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (71 kb)
ESM 1 Location set (sample sites) file used in GenGIS analysis. (PDF 72 kb)
11033_2011_675_MOESM2_ESM.xls (19 kb)
ESM 2 Plant material used in the study. a Subgeneric names are according to D’Arcy (1972,1991); b major clades after Weese and Bohs (2007). c These genera are now nested within the Solanum genus. Accession numbers in bold are provided by this study. (XLS 19 kb)
11033_2011_675_MOESM3_ESM.png (1.3 mb)
ESM 3 Geospatial representation of the phylogeny of the subgenus Archaesolanum in 3D. Phylogenetic tree of kangaroo apples is based on the BEAST and Maximum Parsimony phylogeny obtained from the combined trnT-trnF chloroplast region. Different species are indicated with unique colouring of branches. (PNG 1316 kb)

ESM 4 Video representation of the phylogeny of the subgenus Archaesolanum. (AVI 10910 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Péter Poczai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jaakko Hyvönen
    • 1
  • David E. Symon
    • 2
  1. 1.Plant BiologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of Environment and HeritageState Herbarium of South Australia, Plant Biodiversity CentreKent TownAustralia

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