Out of America to Africa or Asia: Inference of Dispersal Histories Using Nuclear and Plastid DNA and the S-RNase Self-incompatibility Locus
Molecular biology and evolution
The plant genus Lycium (Solanaceae) originated in the Americas and includes approximately 85 species that are distributed worldwide. The vast majority of Old World species occur in southern Africa and eastern Asia. In this study, we examine biogeographic relationships among Old World species using a phylogenetic approach coupled with molecular evolutionary analyses of the S-RNase self-incompatibility gene. The phylogeny inferred from nuclear granule-bound starch synthase I (GBSSI), nuclear
... BSSI), nuclear conserved ortholog set II (COSII) marker C2_At1g24360, and plastid spacer data (trnH-pbsA, trnD GUC -trnT GGU , rpl32-trnL UAG , and ndhF-rpl32) includes a clade of eastern Asian Lycium nested within the African species, suggesting initial dispersal from the Americas to Africa, with subsequent dispersal to eastern Asia. Molecular dating estimates suggest that these dispersal events occurred relatively recently, with dispersal from the Americas to Africa approximately 3.64 Ma (95% highest posterior density [HPD]: 1.58-6.27), followed by subsequent dispersal to eastern Asia approximately 1.21 Ma (95% HPD: 0.32-2.42). In accordance, the S-RNase genealogy shows that S-RNases isolated from Old World species are restricted to four lineages, a subset of the 14 lineages including S-RNases isolated from New World Lycium species, supporting a bottleneck of S-RNase alleles concomitant with a single dispersal event from the Americas to the Old World. Furthermore, the S-RNase genealogy is also consistent with dispersal of Lycium from Africa to Asia, as eastern Asian alleles are restricted to a subset of the lineages that also include African alleles. Such a multilocus approach, including complementary data from GBSSI, COSII, plastid spacer regions, and S-RNase, is powerful for understanding dispersal histories of closely related species.