J Syst Evol ›› 2022, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (2): 253-265.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12733

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Phylogenomics and biogeography of Wisteria: Implications on plastome evolution among inverted repeat-lacking clade (IRLC) legumes

Mao-Qin Xia1, Ren-Yu Liao1, Jin-Ting Zhou1, Han-Yang Lin1, Jian-Hua Li2*, Pan Li1*, Cheng-Xin Fu1, and Ying-Xiong Qiu1   

  1. 1 Laboratory of Systematic & Evolutionary Botany and Biodiversity, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
    2 Department of Biology, Hope College, MI 49423, USA

    *Authors for correspondence. Jian‐Hua Li. E‐mail: li@hope.edu; Pan Li. E‐mail: panli_zju@126.com
  • Received:2020-01-26 Accepted:2021-02-05 Online:2021-02-09 Published:2022-03-01


The genus Wisteria (Fabaceae) is disjunctly distributed in eastern Asian and eastern North American temperate deciduous forests, and it is widely cultivated around the world as spectacular garden plants. It is a member of inverted repeat-lacking clade (IRLC). The IRLC Species are characterized by the loss of an IR region in their plastomes, which has long been of great interest. In this research, we report whole plastome sequences from all four Wisteria species and a Wisteriopsis japonica, combining these with existing data to explore phylogenetic relationships and biogeography of Wisteria, as well as plastome evolution of IRLC species. Phylogenetic analyses recognized a clade containing Glycyrrhiza–WisteriopsisWisteria as sister to the remaining genera of IRLC. North American Wisteria frutescens and the three Asian species formed reciprocal clades, and Wisteria brachybotrys was sister to Wisteria floribunda and Wisteria sinensis. Wisteria may have originated in Japan near the boundary of the Oligocene and Miocene. The disappearance of Bering Land Bridge in the late Miocene might lead to the Eastern Asian–Eastern North American disjunction of Wisteria. Allopatric speciation of Wisteria between the Japanese archipelago and the Asian continent in the Quaternary increased the species richness of eastern Asia in comparison with eastern North America. Synonymous substitution rates (dS) of protein-coding genes in the IRLC species were around 2-fold (SC genes) or 11-fold (IR genes) higher than those of non-IRLC species. For both SC and IR genes, herbaceous legumes have around 3-fold higher dS than woody ones. Both loss of one IR region and herbaceous habit elevated substitution rates of the plastomes.

Key words: Eastern Asian–Eastern North American disjunction, Fabaceae, inverted repeat‐lacking clade, Millettia, Wisterieae, Wisteriopsis