J Syst Evol ›› 2016, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (4): 392-399.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12201

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Global versus Chinese perspectives on the phylogeny of the N-fixing clade

Hong-Lei Li1,2,3, Wei Wang1, Rui-Qi Li1, Jing-Bo Zhang1, Miao Sun1, Rehan Naeem1, Jun-Xia Su4, Xiao-Guo Xiang1, Peter E. Mortimer5,6, De-Zhu Li6,7, Kevin D. Hyde5,6,8, Jian-Chu Xu5,6, Douglas E. Soltis9,10,11, Pamela S. Soltis10,11, Jianhua Li12, Shou-Zhou Zhang2, Hong Wu3, Zhi-Duan Chen1*, and An-Ming Lu1*   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    2Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Southern Subtropical Plant Diversity, Fairylake Botanical Garden, Shenzhen and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518004, Guangdong, China
    3College of Life Sciences, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
    4College of Life Sciences, Shanxi Normal University, Linfen 041004, Shanxi, China
    5World Agroforestry Centre, East and Central Asia, Kunming 650201, China
    6Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
    7Plant Germplasm and Genomics Center, Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
    8School of Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand
    9Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
    10Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA 11Genetics Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA 12Biology Department, Hope College, Holland, MI 49423, USA
  • Received:2015-11-09 Published:2016-07-25

Abstract: There has been increasing interest in integrating a regional tree of life with community assembly rules in the ecological research. This raises questions regarding the impacts of taxon sampling strategies at the regional versus global scales on the topology. To address this concern, we constructed two trees for the nitrogen-fixing clade: (i) a genus-level global tree including 1023 genera; and (ii) a regional tree comprising 303 genera, with taxon sampling limited to China. We used the supermatrix approach and performed maximum likelihood analyses on combined matK, rbcL, and trnL-F plastid sequences. We found that the topology of the global and the regional tree of the N-fixing clade were generally congruent. However, whereas relationships among the four orders obtained with the global tree agreed with the accepted topology obtained in focused analyses with more genes, the regional topology obtained different relationships, albeit weakly supported. At a finer scale, the phylogenetic position of the family Myricaceae was found to be sensitive to sampling density. We expect that internal support throughout the phylogeny could be improved with denser taxon sampling. The taxon sampling approach (global vs. regional) did not have a major impact on fine-level branching patterns of the N-fixing clade. Thus, a well-resolved phylogeny with relatively dense taxon sampling strategy at the regional scale appears, in this case, to be a good representation of the overall phylogenetic pattern and could be used in ecological research. Otherwise, the regional tree should be adjusted according to the correspondingly reliable global tree.

Key words: global tree of life, N-fixing clade, phylogeny, regional tree of life, supermatrix.