Background and Aims: The subgenus Ceratotropis in the genus Vigna is widely distributed from the Himalayan highlands to South, Southeast and East Asia. However, the interspecific and geographical relationships of its members are poorly understood. This study investigates the phylogeny and biogeography of the subgenus Ceratotropis using chloroplast DNA sequence data. Methods: Sequence data from four intergenic spacer regions (petA-psbJ, psbD-trnT, trnT-trnE and trnT-trnL) of chloroplast DNA, alone and in combination, were analysed using Bayesian and parsimony methods. Divergence times for major clades were estimated with penalized likelihood. Character evolution was examined by means of parsimony optimization and MacClade. Key Results: Parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses on the combined data demonstrated well-resolved species relationships in which 18 Vigna species were divided into two major geographical clades: the East AsiaSoutheast Asian clade and the Indian subcontinent clade. Within these two clades, three well-supported eco-geographical groups, temperate and subtropical (the East AsiaSoutheast Asian clade) and tropical (the Indian subcontinent clade), are recognized. The temperate group consists of V. minima, V. nepalensis and V. angularis. The subtropical group comprises the V. nakashimaeV. riukiuensisV. minima subgroup and the V. hirtellaV. exilisV. umbellata subgroup. The tropical group contains two subgroups: the V. trinerviaV. reflexo-pilosaV. trilobata subgroup and the V. mungoV. grandiflora subgroup. An evolutionary rate analysis estimated the divergence time between the East AsiaSoutheast Asia clade and the Indian subcontinent clade as 3·62 ± 0·3 million years, and that between the temperate and subtropical groups as 2·0 ± 0·2 million years. Conclusions: The findings provide an improved understanding of the interspecific relationships, and ecological and geographical phylogenetic structure of the subgenus Ceratotropis. The quaternary diversification of the subgenus Ceratotropis implicates its geographical dispersal in the south-eastern part of Asia involving adaptation to climatic condition after the collision of the Indian subcontinent with the Asian plate. The phylogenetic results indicate that the epigeal germination is plesiomorphic, and the germination type evolved independently multiple times in this subgenus, implying its limited taxonomic utility.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science