Analysis of DNA sequences of six chloroplast and nuclear genes suggests incongruence, introgression, and incomplete lineage sorting in the evolution of Lespedeza (Fabaceae).
ABSTRACT The genus Lespedeza (Fabaceae) consists of 40 species disjunctively distributed in East Asia and eastern North America. Phylogenetic relationships of all Lespedeza species and closely related genera were reconstructed using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses of sequence data from five chloroplast (rpl16, rpl32-trnL, rps16-trnQ, trnL-F, and trnK/matK) and one nuclear (ITS) DNA regions. All analyses yielded consistent relationships among major lineages. Our results suggested that Campylotropis, Kummerowia, and Lespedeza are monophyletic, respectively. Lespedeza is resolved as sister to Kummerowia and these two together are further sister to Campylotropis. Neither of the two subgenera, subgen. Lespedeza and subgen. Macrolespedeza, in Lespedeza based on morphological characters, is recovered as monophyletic. Within Lespedeza, the North American clade is retrieved as sister to the Asian clade. The nuclear and chloroplast markers showed incongruent phylogenetic signals at shallow-level phylogeny, which may point to either introgression or incomplete lineage sorting in Lespedeza. The divergence times within Lespedeza and among related genera were estimated using Bayesian approach with BEAST. It is assumed that following the divergence between Kummerowia and Lespedeza in Asia in the late Miocene, the ancestor of Lespedeza diverged into the North American and the Asian lineages. The North American ancestor quickly migrated to North America through the Bering land bridge in the late Miocene. The North American and Asian lineages started to diversify almost simultaneously in the late Miocene but resulted in biased numbers of species in two continents.