Systematics and polyploid evolution in Potentilleae (Rosaceae)

University dissertation from Stockholm : Department of Botany, Stockholm University

Abstract: This thesis comprises studies of the phylogenetic relationships in the flowering plant clade Potentilleae in Rosaceae. The relationships were elucidated by using DNA sequence data from the nuclear genome as well as from the plastid genome. In particular, the focus of the studies was the investigation of allopolyploidy, i.e. speciation as a result of hybridization and subsequent chromosome doubling. A phylogenetic method was used for identifying allopolyploidy through comparison of trees resulting from the analyses of different DNA sequences. Five sub-clades were investigated. First, both the sister clades that together contain all of Potentilleae: Fragariinae and Potentilla. Secondly, three subclades of Fragariinae, namely Alchemilla in wide sense, Sibbaldia and relatives, and Fragaria. The aim was to unravel the phylogenetic relationships, including instances of allopolyploidy. Classification issues were discussed in relation to the phylogenetic results. The split between Potentilla (=Potentillinae) and Fragariinae received better support than in previous studies. The phylogeny of Fragariinae was found to be consistent with classifying ten genera: Alchemilla in wide sense (incl. Aphanes and Lachemilla), Comarum, Sibbaldia, Sibbaldianthe, Sibbaldiopsis, Chamaerhodos, Drymocallis, Dasiphora, Potaninia, Fragaria, and also including a few orphan Potentilla species. The segregated genera Ivesia, Horkelia, Horkeliella and Duchesnea were found to be nested within Potentilla, corroborating earlier studies, while the segregated genus Argentina (P. anserina and close relatives) showed an ambiguous position. Plastid and nuclear (ribosomal) phylogenies were compared and incongruences were detected as potential instances of allopolyploid speciation. Five strongly supported incongruences were detected in Fragariinae and four of them were considered to be potentially caused by allopolyploidy. In addition, five supported incongruences were found in Potentilla. Alchemilla in the wide sense was found to contain four major clades, African Alchemilla, Eurasian Alchemilla, Lachemilla and Aphanes. Both Lachemilla and Aphanes were nested within Alchemilla and it was suggested that the name Alchemilla should be used in the wide sense, i.e. including both the genera Lachemilla and Aphanes. The genus Sibbaldia as commonly classified was shown to be polyphyletic in five different places in Potentilleae. Three Sibbaldia clades ended up in Fragariinae and two in Potentilla. A phylogeny of Fragaria, based on a nuclear low/single copy DNA region was estimated. The gene copy phylogeny was used to construct a reticulate tree hypothesizing allopolyploid speciation events. The evolution of Fragaria was shown to have been shaped by polyploidy.