Morphology, Molecular Phylogeny and Genome content of Bothriochloa focusing on Australian taxa

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Virginia Tech


The study focuses on the genus Bothriochloa (Andropogoneae, Poaceae) in Australia. Despite morphological features separating this genus from the closely related two genera Capillipedium and Dichanthium, (the three hereafter will be called BCD), De Wet and Harlan introduced the compilospecies complex to show the interbreeding phenomena that occurred among species of these genera. This study was carried out to assess species/genus relatedness of the BCD complex using different evidences from morphology, molecular information and genomic content. Nineteen morphological characters were observed, three regions (trnT-F, rps16 intron and 3'trnK) of chloroplast genome phylogenetic were used in phylogenetic reconstruction, and chromosome counting as well as flow cytometry for chromosome number and genome size were conducted during the study. Phylogenetic trees were constructed using MP with NJ for morphological data, and MP, RAxML, and BI for molecular data. Based on morphology, all three genera were separated as monophyletic units. Bothriochloa consisted of two clades. However, phylogenetic analyses based on chloroplast genomic regions reveal that Bothriochloa and Dichanthium are paraphyletic clades and only Capillipedium is resolved as a monophyletic clade. The concatenated data set has performed better than individual data sets in terms of resolution and support for clades. Flow-cytometry and chromosome counting only found diploid and tetraploid but not hexaplod species. TCS network reveals that tetraploidization followed different pathways from the ancestral diploid species. This study provided new insight onto the evolution of the chloroplast genome in the compilospecies and empirical evidence of species grouping of the compilospecies based on morphology.



Bothriochloa, Capillipedium, chloroplast phylogeny, compilospecies, Dichanthium