Tree Genetics & Genomes

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 363–378 | Cite as

Molecular phylogeny of Juglans (Juglandaceae): a biogeographic perspective

  • Mallikarjuna K. AradhyaEmail author
  • Daniel Potter
  • Fangyou Gao
  • Charles J. Simon
Original Paper


The eastern Asian and eastern North American disjunction in Juglans offers an opportunity to estimate the time since divergence of the Eurasian and American lineages and to compare it with paleobotanical evidence. Five chloroplast DNA noncoding spacer (NCS) sequences: trnT−trnF, psbA−trnH, atpB−rbcL, trnV-16S rRNA, and trnS-trnfM and data from earlier studies (matK, ITS, and nuclear RFLP) were used to reconstruct phylogeny and to estimate the divergence time of major lineages. Seventeen taxa from four sections of Juglans and two outgroup taxa, Pterocarya stenoptera and Carya illinoiensis were included. NCS data was congruent only with matK data. Both maximum parsimony (MP) and maximum likelihood (ML) cladograms were concordant at the sectional level and revealed three well-supported monophyletic clades corresponding to sections Juglans, Cardiocaryon, and Rhysocaryon in both NCS and combined analyses. The single extant American butternut, Juglans cinerea was placed within the poorly resolved, but well-supported Rhysocaryon. Placement of taxa within Rhysocaryon and Cardiocaryon were inconsistent between NCS and combined analyses. Overall, the results suggest that: (1) the NCS sequence divergence observed within and between sections of Juglans is low and the addition of matK data only marginally improved resolution within Rhysocaryon; (2) the early divergence of section Juglans in both MP and ML analyses of NCS and combined data implies its ancient origin in contrast to fossil evidence, which suggests the earliest divergence of sections Rhysocaryon and Cardiocaryon; and (3) the extant taxa may not hold the footprints to unravel the evolutionary history of the genus.


Biogeography Chloroplast DNA Cladogenesis Disjunction Juglandaceae Juglans Noncoding spacer sequence Phylogeny Walnut 



This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS Project No. 5306-21000-015-00D). We thank Clay Weeks, Warren Roberts, and Chuck Leslie for contributing to collection of samples and many helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mallikarjuna K. Aradhya
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel Potter
    • 2
  • Fangyou Gao
    • 2
  • Charles J. Simon
    • 3
  1. 1.USDA Germplasm RepositoryUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.Plant Genetic Resources Unit, USDA-ARSCornell UniversityGenevaUSA

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