Tree Genetics & Genomes

, 13:48 | Cite as

Diversity and evolution of plastomes in Saharan mimosoids: potential use for phylogenetic and population genetic studies

  • Mohamed Mensous
  • Céline Van de Paer
  • Sophie Manzi
  • Olivier Bouchez
  • Djamel Baâli-Cherif
  • Guillaume Besnard
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Germplasm Diversity


Acacias (Mimosoideae) represent a major woody group in arid and subarid habitats of all tropical and subtropical regions. The genetic diversity and population dynamic of African species are still poorly investigated, in particular due to ploidy variation among and within species. Here, we aim to investigate the diversity of the plastid genome (or plastome) of Central Saharan mimosoids, in order to assess its potential utility for phylogenetic and population genetic analyses. We first used a genome skimming strategy to assemble the complete plastome plus the nuclear ribosomal DNA cluster of six species belonging to three genera (Vachellia, Senegalia, and Faidherbia). Phylogenetic relationships based on these data confirm the existence of three main evolutionary lineages in the Hoggar range (southern Algeria). An analysis of the plastome structure reveals an extension of the inverted repeat (IR) in Faidherbia albida as recently reported in two other genera of the same lineage (Inga and Acacia s.s.). Higher substitution rates are detected in this lineage, and our species sampling allows revealing genes (particularly accD, clpP, rps2, rps3, ycf1, ycf2, and ycf4) under positive selection following the IR extension. The reasons for this evolutionary transition need to be unraveled. We then develop 21 plastid microsatellites to be used on a large panel of mimosoid species. At a local scale, 18 of these loci reveal intra-specific polymorphism in at least one species. These markers may be useful to assess the genetic diversity of the plastome for comparative phylogeographies or population genetic studies.


Acacia Chloroplast genome Hoggar Microsatellite Nuclear ribosomal DNA Phylogeny Phylogeography Population genetics Positive selection 



This work has been conducted in the Laboratoire Evolution & Diversité Biologique (EDB) part of the LABEX entitled TULIP managed by Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-10-LABX-0041). CVDP and GB were funded by the Regional Council Midi-Pyrenees (AAP 13053637, 2014-EDB-UT3-DOCT). This work was performed in collaboration with the GeT core facility, Toulouse, France (, and was supported by France Génomique National infrastructure, funded as part of “Investissement d’avenir” program managed by Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR-10-INBS-09). We are grateful to Pascal-Antoine Christin for helpful advices on the use of positive selection tests and Salah Abdelaoui who helped for the plant sampling.

Author’s contribution statement

MM, DBC, and GB conceived the initial project; MM and DBC conducted field expeditions and sampling; MM, SM, OB, and GB performed laboratory works; CVDP and GB analyzed the data; MM, CVDP, and GB wrote the paper; and all authors commented and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11295_2017_1131_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 3329 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed Mensous
    • 1
  • Céline Van de Paer
    • 2
  • Sophie Manzi
    • 2
  • Olivier Bouchez
    • 3
    • 4
  • Djamel Baâli-Cherif
    • 5
  • Guillaume Besnard
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Recherche sur la Phoeniciculture, Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la VieUniversité Kasdi Merbah—OuarglaOuarglaAlgeria
  2. 2.UMR 5174 EDB (Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique), CNRS-UPS-ENSFEA-IRDUniversité Paul SabatierToulouse Cedex 9France
  3. 3.INRAGeT-PlaGe, GenotoulCastanet-TolosanFrance
  4. 4.GenPhySEUniversité de Toulouse, INRA, INPT, ENVTCastanet-TolosanFrance
  5. 5.Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Zones AridesUSTHB/ENSA, BP44AlgerAlgeria

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