Scrophularia arguta, a widespread annual plant in the Canary Islands: a single recent colonization event or a more complex phylogeographic pattern?

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Scrophularia arguta, a widespread annual plant in the Canary Islands: a single recent colonization event or a more complex phylogeographic pattern?

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Title: Scrophularia arguta, a widespread annual plant in the Canary Islands: a single recent colonization event or a more complex phylogeographic pattern?
Author: Valtueña Sánchez, Francisco Javier; López Martínez, Josefa; Álvarez, Juan; Rodríguez Riaño, Tomás; Ortega Olivencia, Ana
Abstract: Many studies have addressed evolution and phylogeography of plant taxa in oceanic islands, but have primarily focused on endemics because of the assumption that in widespread taxa the absence of morphological differentiation between island and mainland populations is due to recent colonization. In this paper, we studied the phylogeography of Scrophularia arguta, a widespread annual species, in an attempt to determine the number and spatiotemporal origins of dispersal events to Canary Islands. Four different regions, ITS and ETS from nDNA and psbA-trnH and psbJ-petA from cpDNA, were used to date divergence events within S. arguta lineages and determine the phylogenetic relationships among populations. A haplotype network was obtained to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships among haplotypes. Our results support an ancient origin of S. arguta (Miocene) with expansion and genetic differentiation in the Pliocene coinciding with the aridification of northern Africa and the formation of the Mediterranean climate. Indeed, results indicate for Canary Islands three different events of colonization, including two ancient events that probably happened in the Pliocene and have originated the genetically most divergent populations into this species and, interestingly, a recent third event of colonization of Gran Canaria from mainland instead from the closest islands (Tenerife or Fuerteventura). In spite of the great genetic divergence among populations, it has not implied any morphological variation. Our work highlights the importance of nonendemic species to the genetic richness and conservation of island flora and the significance of the island populations of widespread taxa in the global biodiversity.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10662/7142
Date: 2016


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