Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 129, Issue 5, pp 793–805 | Cite as

Phylogeography of East Asian Lespedeza buergeri (Fabaceae) based on chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal DNA sequence variations

  • Dong-Pil Jin
  • Jung-Hyun Lee
  • Bo Xu
  • Byoung-Hee Choi
Regular Paper


The dynamic changes in land configuration during the Quaternary that were accompanied by climatic oscillations have significantly influenced the current distribution and genetic structure of warm-temperate forests in East Asia. Although recent surveys have been conducted, the historical migration of forest species via land bridges and, especially, the origins of Korean populations remains conjectural. Here, we reveal the genetic structure of Lespedeza buergeri, a warm-temperate shrub that is disjunctively distributed around the East China Sea (ECS) at China, Korea, and Japan. Two non-coding regions (rpl32-trnL, psbA-trnH) of chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) and the internal transcribed spacer of nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrITS) were analyzed for 188 individuals from 16 populations, which covered almost all of its distribution. The nrITS data demonstrated a genetic structure that followed geographic boundaries. This examination utilized AMOVA, comparisons of genetic differentiation based on haplotype frequency/genetic mutations among haplotypes, and Mantel tests. However, the cpDNA data showed contrasting genetic pattern, implying that this difference was due to a slower mutation rate in cpDNA than in nrITS. These results indicated frequent migration by this species via an ECS land bridge during the early Pleistocene that then tapered gradually toward the late Pleistocene. A genetic isolation between western and eastern Japan coincided with broad consensus that was suggested by the presence of other warm-temperate plants in that country. For Korean populations, high genetic diversity indicated the existence of refugia during the Last Glacial Maximum on the Korean Peninsula. However, their closeness with western Japanese populations at the level of haplotype clade implied that gene flow from western Japanese refugia was possible until post-glacial processing occurred through the Korea/Tsushima Strait land bridge.


Climate oscillations East Asia Genetic structure Lespedeza buergeri Phylogeography Warm-temperate forest 



The authors thank Prof. C. X. Fu of Zhejiang University for help in collecting plant materials. We are also grateful to our colleagues W. B. Cho, D. H. Lee, and I. S. Choi, at the Plant Systematics Laboratory of Inha University, for their discussions about statistical analysis and manuscript preparation. This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (No. NRF–2015R1D1A1A01059886).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dong-Pil Jin
    • 1
  • Jung-Hyun Lee
    • 2
  • Bo Xu
    • 3
  • Byoung-Hee Choi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesInha UniversityIncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biology EducationChonnam National UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.The ECORES Lab, Chengdu Institute of BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina

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