J Syst Evol ›› 2014, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (2): 175-185.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12065

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Phylogeography of the widespread plant Ailanthus altissima (Simaroubaceae) in China indicated by three chloroplast DNA regions

1,2Yi-Ying LIAO 1You-Hao GUO 3Jin-Ming CHEN* 3Qing-Feng WANG*   

  1. 1(Laboratory of Plant Systematics and Evolutionary Biology, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China)
    2(Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, Shenzhen, Chinese Academy of sciences, Shenzhen 518004, China)
    3(Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China)
  • Received:2013-04-05 Published:2014-01-13

Abstract: Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle, a temperate tree species, has a wide distribution in China. To infer its refugia and patterns of migration during past climatic changes in China, genetic variations among different populations were studied. Gene sequences of three chloroplast DNA spacer regions, psbA-trnH, trnL-trnF, andtrnD-trnT, were obtained from 440 individuals of 44 populations. The distribution of haplotype and the relationships among them were investigated by haplotype network. In addition, the genetic diversity of the sampled regions was inferred, and the biogeographic history was also reconstructed. Twelve haplotypes were identified, among which, five were unique. The phylogenetic analysis and geographical distribution of haplotypes indicate that multiple glacial refugia existed in mainland China during the Quaternary oscillations. Due to the combined effects of contiguous range expansion and allopatric fragmentation, significant genetic structure was not found in this study. Based on biogeographic and demographic analysis, three main dispersal routes were identified for the major haplotypes, whereas others were more likely localized demographic expansion.

Key words: Ailanthus altissima, cpDNA, glacial refugia, migration, phylogeography