Hybridization and complex evolution of Barbarea vulgaris and related species (Brassicaceae)

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Barbarea, winter-cress, is a genus of 29 species in Brassicaceae, the mustard family, which has emerged as a model for evolution of plant defence and specialised metabolites. Notably, some Barbarea species have evolved the ability to produce triterpenoid saponins as the only ones in Brassicaceae, some of which make plants resistant to important herbivores. Resistance has, however, been lost in a distinct group of plants within B. vulgaris ssp. arcuata, which is genetically strongly diverged from other B. vulgaris plants. This divergence is not reflected present in taxonomy. Thus, a phylogeny is needed to understand evolution and defence in Barbarea. Here, we analysed the nuclear ITS and the plastid matK, ndhF, rps16, and psbA-trnH DNA regions from seven out of 29 Barbarea species, 57 accessions of B. vulgaris, 10 accessions of other Barbarea species, and eight outgroup species, in addition to sequences available from GenBank. All Barbarea species formed a highly supported monophyletic group, separated from sister genera. Several clades seem to have radiated within the genus with no simple branching pattern, and discordant nuclear and plastid DNA phylogenies indicate reticulate evolution and chloroplast capture. One of the complex patterns may have resulted from chloroplast capture of a non-Nordic Barbarea species not included in the study. Two pairs of species were almost identical, B. australis and B. grayi, and B. orthoceras and B. stricta. Despite hybridization, chloroplast capture, and incongruence among the plastid and nuclear DNA data, the high level of intraspecific diversity, coupled with lineage specificity, lead us to recognize three groups of Barbarea vulgaris: G-type (glabrous) and P-type (pubescent) individuals of the current B. vulgaris ssp. arcuata as two distinct groups and the current B. vulgaris ssp. vulgaris as the third. Despite the high molecular diversity below species level, the evolutionary history of the saponin-based resistance remains unsettled due to unresolved basal branching.

TidsskriftMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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