Journal of Plant Biology

, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 386–396 | Cite as

Biogeography of North Pacific Isoëtes (Isoëtaceae) inferred from nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequence data

  • Changkyun KimEmail author
  • Hong-Keun ChoiEmail author
Original Article


Recent advances in phylogenetics indicate that reticulate evolution has played an important role in the emergence of Isoëtes species in the North Pacific region. However, the biogeographical origin of the North Pacific Isoëtes species remains contentious. We present a fossilcalibrated phylogeny of species from the North Pacific region based on molecular data. Within this framework, we discuss their ancestral areas and biogeographical history. North Pacific Isoëtes are divided into two clades: clade I, consisting of East Asian, Papua New Guinean, and Australian species, and clade II, consisting of West Beringian and western North American species. Within clade I, Australian Isoëtes species were an early divergent group, and Papua New Guinea’s species form a sister clade to the East Asian species. Biogeographical reconstructions suggest an Australasian origin for the East Asian species that arose through long-distance dispersal during the late Oligocene. Within clade II, I. asiatica from West Beringia forms a clade with I. echinospora and I. muricata from Alaska. Western North America was the area of origin for the dispersal of Isoëtes species to West Beringia via the Bering land bridge during the late Miocene. Our study identifies the biogeographic origin of the North Pacific Isoëtes and suggests long-distance dispersal as the most likely explanation for their intercontinental distribution.


Biogeography Chloroplast DNA Isoëtes molecular phylogeny North Pacific nrITS 


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Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Plant Biologists and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Life ScienceGachon UniversitySeongnamKorea
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesAjou UniversitySuwonKorea

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