Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 110, Issue 4, pp 469–484 | Cite as

Molecular phylogeny ofNothofagus (Nothofagaceae) based on theatpB-rbcL intergenic spacer of the chloroplast DNA

  • Hiroaki Setoguchi
  • Mikio Ono
  • Yoshimichi Doi
  • Hiroshige Koyama
  • Mitsuya Tsuda
Original Articles


The genusNothofagus is distributed in the Southern Hemisphere from South America to Oceania, and its distribution has been assumed to be formed by continental drift by means of Gondwana break-up during the Mesozoic era. The phylogeny of the genus was elucidated by the sequences ofatpB-rbcL intergenic spacer of cpDNA for the better understanding of its evolution and biogeography. The phylogeny ofNothofagus corresponded completely to the pollen morphology which recognizes four pollen types in extant species, and agrees well with the taxonomic system of Hill and Read (1991) although there, the subgenusNothofagus showed in unresolved polytomy. The topology of the phylogenetic tree reveals that subgenusLophozonia was derived first, and thenFuscospora, Nothofagus andBrassospora. Species from South America and New Zealand were assigned to each cluster according to their pollen morphology. Therefore, diversification ofNothofagus should have already proceeded at the subgenus level before the completion of Gondwana break-up Tropical species distributed in New Guinea and New Caledonia whose evolutionary history has been controversial were revealed to be a derived group. All five New Caledonian species formed a monophyletic group with very few sequence divergences in the intergenic spacer of cpDNA, thus showing rapid adaptive radiation in the island. Evolutionary trends of several morphological traits ofNothofagus are discussed. The evolution of valve number of cupules, number of nuts per cupule, and habit of leaf-fall (evergreen or deciduous) which are diversified in the genus, were revealed as having occurred several times as the result of convergence.

Key words

atpB-rbcL intergenic spacer Gondwana Nothofagus Phylogeny 


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroaki Setoguchi
    • 1
  • Mikio Ono
    • 1
  • Yoshimichi Doi
    • 2
  • Hiroshige Koyama
    • 2
  • Mitsuya Tsuda
    • 3
  1. 1.Makino Herbarium, Faculty of ScienceTokyo Metropolitan UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of BotanyNational Science MuseumTsukuba-shi, IbarakiJapan
  3. 3.Pesticide Research Institute, Faculty of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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