Phylogenetic analyses suggest a hybrid origin of the figs (Moraceae: Ficus) that are endemic to the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands, Japan

Junko Kusumi, Hiroshi Azuma, Hsy Yu Tzeng, Lien Siang Chou, Yan Qiong Peng, Keiko Nakamura, Zhi Hui Su

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26 Citations (Scopus)


The Ogasawara Islands are oceanic islands and harbor a unique endemic flora. There are three fig species (Ficus boninsimae, F. nishimurae and F. iidaiana) endemic to the Ogasawara Islands, and these species have been considered to be closely related to Ficus erecta, and to have diverged within the islands. However, this hypothesis remains uncertain. To investigate this issue, we assessed the phylogenetic relationships of the Ogasawara figs and their close relatives occurring in Japan, Taiwan and South China based on six plastid genome regions, nuclear ITS region and two nuclear genes. The plastid genome-based tree indicated a close relationship between the Ogasawara figs and F. erecta, whereas some of the nuclear gene-based trees suggested this relationship was not so close. In addition, the phylogenetic analyses of the pollinating wasps associated with these fig species based on the nuclear 28S rRNA and mitochondrial cytB genes suggested that the fig-pollinating wasps of F. erecta are not sister to those of the Ogasawara figs These results suggest the occurrence of an early hybridization event(s) in the lineage leading to the Ogasawara figs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-179
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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