The taxonomic status of many Southern European taxa of the Ranunculus auricomus complex remains uncertain despite this region’s proximity to the native ranges of the sexual progenitor species of the complex. We investigated whether additional sexual progenitor species are present in the Mediterranean region. Utilizing target enrichment of 736 single-copy nuclear gene regions and flow cytometry, we analyzed phylogenomic relationships, the ploidy level, and the reproductive mode in representatives of 16 populations in Southern Europe, with additional sequence data from herbarium collections. Additionally, phased sequence assemblies from suspected nothotaxa were mapped to previously described sexual progenitor species in order to determine hybrid ancestry. We found the majority of Mediterranean taxa to be tetraploid, with hybrid populations propagating primarily via apomixis. Phylogenomic analysis revealed that except for the progenitor species, the Mediterranean taxa are often polyphyletic. Most apomictic taxa showed evidence of mixed heritage from progenitor species, with certain progenitor genotypes having mapped more to the populations from adjacent geographical regions. Geographical trends were found in phylogenetic distance, roughly following an east-to-west longitudinal demarcation of the complex, with apomicts extending to the southern margins. Additionally, we observed post-hybridization divergence between the western and eastern populations of nothotaxa in Southern Europe. Our results support a classification of apomictic populations as nothotaxa, as previously suggested for Central Europe.

Phylogenomics of Southern European Taxa in the Ranunculus auricomus Species Complex: The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

Boscutti F.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The taxonomic status of many Southern European taxa of the Ranunculus auricomus complex remains uncertain despite this region’s proximity to the native ranges of the sexual progenitor species of the complex. We investigated whether additional sexual progenitor species are present in the Mediterranean region. Utilizing target enrichment of 736 single-copy nuclear gene regions and flow cytometry, we analyzed phylogenomic relationships, the ploidy level, and the reproductive mode in representatives of 16 populations in Southern Europe, with additional sequence data from herbarium collections. Additionally, phased sequence assemblies from suspected nothotaxa were mapped to previously described sexual progenitor species in order to determine hybrid ancestry. We found the majority of Mediterranean taxa to be tetraploid, with hybrid populations propagating primarily via apomixis. Phylogenomic analysis revealed that except for the progenitor species, the Mediterranean taxa are often polyphyletic. Most apomictic taxa showed evidence of mixed heritage from progenitor species, with certain progenitor genotypes having mapped more to the populations from adjacent geographical regions. Geographical trends were found in phylogenetic distance, roughly following an east-to-west longitudinal demarcation of the complex, with apomicts extending to the southern margins. Additionally, we observed post-hybridization divergence between the western and eastern populations of nothotaxa in Southern Europe. Our results support a classification of apomictic populations as nothotaxa, as previously suggested for Central Europe.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/1268133
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