J Syst Evol ›› 2014, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (6): 706-711.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12080

• Reviews & Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Molecular phylogeny revealed complex evolutionary process in Elymus species

Genlou SUN*   

  1. (Department of Biology, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS, B3H 3C3, Canada)
  • Received:2013-12-19 Published:2014-11-13

Abstract: Recent molecular phylogenetic studies on Elymus have added to our understanding of the origination of Elymus species. However, evolutionary dynamics and speciation of most species in Elymus are unclear. Molecular phylogeny has demonstrated that reticulate evolution has occurred extensively in the genus, as an example, the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (rpb2) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (pepC) data revealed two versions of the St genome, St1 and St2contributing to speciation of E. caninus. Phylogenetic analyses of E. pendulinus uncovered additional genome-level complexity. Our data indicated that both chloroplast and nuclear gene introgression have occurred in the evolutionary process of E. pendulinus. Non-donor species genomes have been detected in severalElymus species, such as in allohexaploid E. repens (StStStStHH), a Taeniatherum-like (Ta genome in Triticeae) GBSSI sequence, Bromus- (Bromeae) and Panicum-like (Paniceae) ITS sequences have been detected. The chloroplast DNA data indicated that Pseudoroegneria is the maternal genome donor to Elymus species, but whether different Elymus species originated from different St donors remains an open question. The origin of the Y genome in Elymus is puzzling. It is clear that the Ygenome is distinct from the St genome, but unclear on the relationships of Y to other genomes in Triticeae. Introgressive hybridization may be an important factor complicating the evolutionary history of the species in Elymus. The extent of introgression and its role in creating diversity in Elymus species should be the objective of further investigations.

Key words: Elymus, evolutionary history, molecular phylogeny, reticulate evolution.