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Dated historical biogeography of the temperate Loliinae (Poaceae, Pooideae) grasses in the northern and southern hemispheres.

High Polytechnic School of Huesca, University of Zaragoza, Ctra. Cuarte km 1, E-22071 Huesca, Spain.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (Impact Factor: 4.02). 04/2008; 46(3):932-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2007.11.022
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Divergence times and biogeographical analyses have been conducted within the Loliinae, one of the largest subtribes of temperate grasses. New sequence data from representatives of the almost unexplored New World, New Zealand, and Eastern Asian centres were added to those of the panMediterranean region and used to reconstruct the phylogeny of the group and to calculate the times of lineage-splitting using Bayesian approaches. The traditional separation between broad-leaved and fine-leaved Festuca species was still maintained, though several new broad-leaved lineages fell within the fine-leaved clade or were placed in an unsupported intermediate position. A strong biogeographical signal was detected for several Asian-American, American, Neozeylandic, and Macaronesian clades with different affinities to both the broad and the fine-leaved Festuca. Bayesian estimates of divergence and dispersal-vicariance analyses indicate that the broad-leaved and fine-leaved Loliinae likely originated in the Miocene (13My) in the panMediterranean-SW Asian region and then expanded towards C and E Asia from where they colonized the New World. Further expansions in America (10-3.8My) showed a predominant migratory route from North to South (N America<-->the Andes<-->Patagonia). This late Tertiary scenario of successive colonizations and secondary polyploid radiations in the southern hemisphere from the northern hemisphere was accompanied by occasional transcontinental long-distance dispersal events between South America and New Zealand. Multiple Pliocene dispersal events (3.6-2.5My) from the near SW European and NW African continents gave rise to the Macaronesian Loliinae flora, while a more recent Pleistocene origin (2-1My) is hypothesized for the high polyploid lineages that successfully colonized newly deglaciated areas in both hemispheres.

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