Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 126, Issue 6, pp 753–762 | Cite as

Comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of the Ruppia maritima complex focusing on taxa from the Mediterranean

  • Yu Ito
  • Tetsuo Ohi-Toma
  • Jin Murata
  • Norio Tanaka
Regular Paper


Recent molecular phylogenetic studies reported high diversity of Ruppia species in the Mediterranean. Multiple taxa, including apparent endemics, are known from that region, however, they have thus far not been exposed to phylogenetic analyses aimed at studying their relationships to taxa from other parts of the world. Here we present a comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of the R. maritima complex using data sets composed of DNA sequences of the plastid genome, the multi-copy nuclear ITS region, and the low-copy nuclear phyB gene with a primary focus on the Mediterranean representatives of the complex. As a result, a new lineage, “Drepanensis”, was identified as the seventh entity of the complex. This lineage is endemic to the Mediterranean. The accessions included in the former “Tetraploid” entity were reclassified into two entities: an Asia–Australia–Europe disjunct “Tetraploid_α” with a paternal “Diploid” origin, and a European “Tetraploid_γ” originating from a maternal “Drepanensis” lineage. Another entity, “Tetraploid_β”, is likely to have been originated as a result of chloroplast capture through backcrossing hybridization between paternal “Tetraploid_α” and maternal “Tetraploid_γ”. Additional discovery of multiple tetraploidizations as well as hybridization and chloroplast capture at the tetraploid level indicated that hybridization has been a significant factor in the diversification of Ruppia.


Chloroplast capture Hybridization ITS PhyB Plastid DNA Ruppia 



The authors thank Dr. P. Garcia-Murillo (Seville, Spain), Dr. S. Sciandrello (Sicily, Italy), Mr. S. Mifsud (Malta), Dr. H. Freitag (Kassel, Germany), Dr. S. R. Yadav (Kolhapur, India), Dr. J. J. Orth (Virginia, USA), Dr. H. J. Cho (Mississippi, USA), and Dr. S. W. L. Jacobs (Sydney, Australia) for their help with field research and Drs. D. Potter (California, USA) and P. B. Pelser (Christchurch, NZ) for revising the draft version of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu Ito
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tetsuo Ohi-Toma
    • 3
  • Jin Murata
    • 3
  • Norio Tanaka
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  3. 3.Botanical Gardens, Graduate School of Science, The University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Tsukuba Botanical GardenNational Museum of Nature and ScienceTsukubaJapan

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