Byrsonima is the third largest genus (about 200 species) in the Malpighiaceae family, and one of the most common in Brazilian savannas. However, there is no molecular phylogeny available for the genus and taxonomic uncertainties at the generic and family level still remain. Herein, we sequenced the complete chloroplast genome of B. coccolobifolia and B. crassifolia, the first ones described for Malpighiaceae, and performed comparative analyses with sequences previously published for other families in the order Malpighiales. The chloroplast genomes assembled had a similar structure, gene content and organization, even when compared with species from other families. Chloroplast genomes ranged between 160,212 bp in B. crassifolia and 160,329 bp in B. coccolobifolia, both containing 115 genes (four ribosomal RNA genes, 28 tRNA genes and 83 protein-coding genes). We also identified sequences with high divergence that might be informative for phylogenetic inferences in the Malpighiales order, Malpighiaceae family and within the genus Byrsonima. The phylogenetic reconstruction of Malpighiales with these regions highlighted their utility for phylogenetic studies. The comparative analyses among species in Malpighiales provided insights into the chloroplast genome evolution in this order, including the presence/absence of three genes (infA, rpl32 and rps16) and two pseudogenes (ycf1 and rps19).
The subdivision of the geographic distribution of H. stigonocarpa populations into three genetically differentiated groups can be associated with Quaternary climatic changes. The data suggest that during glacial times H. stigonocarpa populations became extinct in most parts of the southern present-day cerrado area. Milder climatic conditions in the north and eastern portions of the cerrado resulted in maintenance of populations in these regions. Thus it is inferred that the most southern part of the present-day cerrado was re-colonized by different lineages from northern parts of this biome, after postglacial climate amelioration.
Plathymenia reticulata is a tropical tree native to the Brazilian Cerrado, one of the most important and endangered ecosystems in Brazil. This species presents high-quality wood and potential for recovery of degraded areas. Despite its importance, almost nothing is known about its genetic or ecological features. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to investigate the genetic diversity and structure of six natural populations of P. reticulata. DNAs from 117 adult individuals were amplified with 10 random primers and Shannon's index and amova were used to evaluate the levels of genetic diversity within and among populations. Through 72 markers, 70.8% of which were polymorphic, it was possible to obtain 117 unique RAPD phenotypes. The levels of genetic variability found in the six populations of P. reticulata were considerable and most of the genetic variation was found between individuals within populations, although pairwise PH(ST) values indicated significant divergence between populations. The among-population component accounted for, respectively, 12.3% and 16% of the genetic variation, according to amova and Shannon's index. These results were compared with other genetic studies on plant species and such a level of differentiation among populations corresponds to that which has usually been observed for outcrossing plants. The importance of maintenance of the P. reticulata populations and implications of the analysis of adult individuals, considering the longevity of this species and the relatively recent Cerrado fragmentation, are discussed.
Little is known about past vegetation dynamics in Eastern Tropical South America (ETSA). Here we describe patterns of chloroplast (cp) DNA variation in Plathymenia reticulata, a widespread tree in the ETSA Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biomes, but not found in the xeromorphic Caatinga. Forty one populations, comprising 220 individuals, were analysed by sequencing the trnS-trnG and trnL-trnL-trnF cpDNA regions. Combined, they resulted in 18 geographically structured haplotypes. The central region of the sampling area, comprising Minas Gerais and Goiás Brazilian states, is a centre of genetic diversity and probably the most longstanding area of the distribution range of the species. In contrast, populations from northeastern Brazil and the southern Cerrados showed very low diversity levels, almost exclusively with common haplotypes which are also found in the central region. Coupled with a long-branched star-like network, these patterns suggest a recent range expansion of P. reticulata to those regions from central region sources. The recent origin of the species (in the early Pleistocene) or the extinction of some populations due to drier and cooler climate during the last glacial maximum could have been responsible for that phylogeographic pattern. The populations from northeastern Brazil originated from two colonization routes, one eastern (Atlantic) and one western (inland). Due to its high diversity and complex landscape, the central region, especially central-north Minas Gerais (between 15 degrees -18 degrees S and 42 degrees -46 degrees W), should be given the highest priority for conservation.
The Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) is an endangered tree endemic to the central Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one of the world's most threatened biomes. The population diversity, phylogeographic structure and demographic history of this species were investigated using the variation in the chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) sequences of 185 individuals from 19 populations along the geographical range of the species. Fifteen haplotypes were detected in the analysis of 1297 bp from two non-coding sequences, trnV-trnM and trnL. We identified a strong genetic structure (F ST ¼ 0.62, Po0.0001), with a latitudinal separation into three phylogeographic groups. The two northernmost groups showed evidence of having maintained historically larger populations than the southernmost group. Estimates of divergence times between these groups pointed to vicariance events in the Middle Pleistocene (ca. 350 000-780 000 years ago). The recurrence of past climatic changes in the central part of the Atlantic forest, with cycles of forest expansion and contraction, may have led to repeated vicariance events, resulting in the genetic differentiation of these groups. Based on comparisons among the populations of large reserves and small, disturbed fragments of the same phylogeographic group, we also found evidence of recent anthropogenic effects on genetic diversity. The results were also analysed with the aim of contributing to the conservation of D. nigra. We suggest that the three phylogeographic groups could be considered as three distinct management units. Based on the genetic diversity and uniqueness of the populations, we also indicate priority areas for conservation.
In spite of environmental differences, P. reticulata from the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado showed similar phenological behavior with only about 10% of the total diversity being attributed to differences between biomes.
Few studies have addressed the phylogeography of species of the Cerrado, the largest savanna biome of South America. Here we aimed to investigate the phylogeographical structure of Dalbergia miscolobium, a widespread tree from the Cerrado, and to verify its concordance with plant phylogeographical and biogeographical patterns so far described. A total of 287 individuals from 32 populations were analyzed by sequencing the trnL intron of the chloroplast DNA and the internal transcribed spacer of the nuclear ribosomal DNA. Analysis of population structure and tests of population expansion were performed and the time of divergence of haplotypes was estimated. Twelve and 27 haplotypes were identified in the cpDNA and nrDNA data, respectively. The star-like network configuration and the mismatch distributions indicated a recent spatial and demographic expansion of the species. Consistent with previous tree phylogeographical studies of Cerrado trees, the cpDNA also suggested a recent expansion towards the southern Cerrado. The diversity of D. miscolobium was widespread but high levels of genetic diversity were found in the Central Eastern and in the southern portion of Central Western Cerrado. The combined analysis of cpDNA and nrDNA supported a phylogeographic structure into seven groups. The phylogeographical pattern showed many concordances with biogeographical and phylogeographical studies in the Cerrado, mainly with the Cerrado phytogeographic provinces superimposed to our sampling area. The data reinforced the uniqueness of Northeastern and Southeastern Cerrados and the differentiation between Eastern and Western Central Cerrados. The recent diversification of the species (estimated between the Pliocene and the Pleistocene) and the ‘genealogical concordances’ suggest that a shared and persistent pattern of species diversification might have been present in the Cerrado over time. This is the first time that an extensive ‘genealogical concordance’ between phylogeographic and phytogeographic patterns is shown for the Cerrado biome.
The phylogeography of Hymenaea courbaril var. stilbocarpa from Atlantic Forest and riverine forests of the Cerrado biome in central and southeastern Brazil was investigated. The data were compared with those of its congeneric Hymenaea stigonocarpa, a typical tree from savanna. In the Cerrado, H. courbaril var. stilbocarpa is found in sites contiguous with those of H. stigonocarpa, and they share common life-history attributes. The psbC/trnS3 region of the chloroplast DNA was sequenced in 149 individuals of H. courbaril var. stilbocarpa. High genetic variation was found in this species, with the identification of 18 haplotypes, similarly to what was found in H. stigonocarpa with 23 haplotypes in the same geographic region. Populations of H. courbaril var. stilbocarpa could be structured in 3 phylogeographic groups. Spatial analysis of molecular variation indicated that 46.4% of the genetic variation was due to differences among these groups. Three haplotypes were shared by H. courbaril var. stilbocarpa and H. stigonocarpa, and only 10.5% of the total genetic variation could be attributed to between-species difference. We surmise that during the glacial times, H. courbaril var. stilbocarpa populations must have gone extinct in most parts of the southern of its present-day occurrence area. After climate amelioration, these areas were probably recolonized from northern and eastern. The relatively similar phylogeographic structure of vicariant Hymenaea species suggests that they were subjected to the same impacts during the Quaternary climatic fluctuations. The sharing of haplotypes and the genetic similarity between the 2 Hymenaea species suggest the existence of ancestral polymorphism and/or hybridization.
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