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Plant Diversity and Resources

Journal of Systematics and Evolution

Volume 55 Issue 4, Pages 405C410.

Published Online: 11 July 2017

DOI: 10.1111/jse.12265

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The Compositae Tree of Life in the age of phylogenomics

Jennifer R. Mandel1,2*,Michael S. Barker3, Randall J. Bayer1, Rebecca B. Dikow4, Tian-Gang Gao5, Katy E. Jones6, Sterling Keeley7, Norbert Kilian6, Hong Ma8,9, CarolinaM. Siniscalchi1,10, Alfonso Susanna11, Ramhari Thapa1, Linda Watson12, and Vicki A. Funk13

1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA

2W. Harry Feinstone Center for Genomic Research, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA

3Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

4Smithsonian Institute for Biodiversity Genomics, Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, National Zoological Park and Division of Mammals, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20013-7012, USA

5State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 10093, China

6Freie Universität Berlin Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Königin-Luise-Straße 6-8, Berlin 14195, Germany

7Department of Botany, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA

8Department of Biology and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA

9Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Biodiversity Sciences and Ecological Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, China

10Departamento de Botânica, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, 05508-090, Brazil

11Botanic Institute of Barcelona (IBB-CSIC-ICUB), Pg. del Migdia s. n., Spain

12Department of Plant Biology, Ecology, and Evolution, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA

13Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20013-7012, USA

Keywords: chloroplast; gene-tree; genomes; Hyb-Seq; next-generation sequencing; nuclear; phylogenetics; sequence capture; transcriptome


Comprising more than 25 000 species, the Sunflower Family (Compositae or Asteraceae) is the largest family of flowering plants. Many of its lineages have experienced recent and rapid radiations, and the family has a deep and widespread history of large-scale gene duplications and polyploidy. Many of the most important evolutionary questions about the family's diversity remain unanswered due to poor resolution and lack of support for major nodes of the phylogeny. Our group has employed a phylogenomics approach using Hyb-Seq that includes sequencing ∼1000 low-copy number nuclear markers, plus partial plastomes for large numbers of species. Here we discuss our progress to date and present two phylogenies comprising nine subfamilies and 25 tribes using concatenated and coalescence-based analyses. We discuss future plans for incorporating high-quality reference genomes and transcriptomes to advance systematic and evolutionary studies in the Compositae. While we have made great strides toward developing tools for employing phylogenomics and resolving relationships within Compositae, much work remains. Recently formed global partnerships will work to solve the unanswered evolutionary questions for this megafamily.


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