Phylogeny of Castanea (Fagaceae) based on chloroplast trnT-L-F sequence data
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Species in the genus Castanea are widely distributed in the deciduous forests of the Northern Hemisphere from Asia to Europe and North America. They show floristic similarity but differences in chestnut blight resistance especially among eastern Asian and eastern North American species. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted in this study using sequences of three chloroplast noncoding trnT-L-F regions. The trnT-L region was found to be the most variable and informative region. The highest proportion of parsimony informative sites, more and larger indels, and higher pairwise distances between taxa were obtained at trnT-L than at the other two regions. The high A+T values (74.5%) in the Castanea trnT-L region may explain the high proportion of transversions found in this region where as comparatively lower A+T values were found in the trnL intron (68.35%) and trnL-F spacer (70.07%) with relatively balanced numbers of transitions and transversions. The genus Castanea is supported as a monophyletic clade, while the section Eucastanon is paraphyletic. C. crenata is the most basal clade and sister to the remainder of the genus. The three Chinese species of Castanea are supported as a single monophyletic clade, whose sister group contains the North American and European species. There is consistent but weak support for a sister–group relationship between the North American species and European species.
KeywordsFagaceae Castanea trnT-L-F Phylogenetics
We thank Cliff Parks of the University of North Carolina, Sandra Anagnostakis of the Connecticut Agricultural Research Station, and Alexandru-Lucian Curtu for providing samples.
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