Susanne S Renner

University of Vienna, Wien, Vienna, Austria

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Publications (120)624.05 Total impact

  • Juliana Chacón, Susanne S. Renner
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    ABSTRACT: AimLikelihood analyses of ancestral ranges require a parameterized model that consists of a time-calibrated phylogeny, an ‘adjacency matrix’ of allowed or forbidden area connections, and an ‘area–dispersal’ matrix with probabilities for discrete periods of time. The approach is implemented in the software Lagrange. Because it can incorporate information about past continental positions, the approach has been used in historical biogeographical studies of relatively old clades. Surprisingly, no study has evaluated the interactions among these input matrices. Here we use the lily family Colchicaceae and artificial data to study the relative effect of the input matrices on final estimates.LocationAfrica, Australia, Eurasia, North America and South America.Methods Using eight plastid, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA regions from 85 of the c. 280 species of Colchicaceae (representing all genera and the entire geographical range) and relevant outgroups, we obtained a well-resolved phylogeny dated with a molecular clock. We then assigned species to six geographical distributions and carried out 22 Lagrange runs in which we modified the adjacency and dispersal matrices, the latter with zero, two or four time periods and one, three or five dispersal probabilities. For a second data set, the areas at deep nodes in the empirical tree were modified by shuffling species distributions. Models were compared based on global log-likelihoods.ResultsThe adjacency matrix strongly determined the outcome, while time slices and dispersal probability categories had minor effects. Ancestral areas reconstructed at most nodes were unaffected by the different input matrices. Colchicaceae are likely to have originated in Cretaceous East Gondwana, initially diversified in Australia (c. 67 Ma), reached southern Africa during the Palaeocene–Eocene, and from there extended their range to Southeast Asia (probably through Arabia) and then North America (through Beringia).Main conclusionsAt least in small data sets, Lagrange models should be tested with sensitivity analyses as carried out here, concentrating on constrained versus unconstrained adjacency matrices, and it should be good practice to report the set-up of both input matrices, not just the dispersal matrix, which is the less decisive of the two.
    Journal of Biogeography 04/2014; · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    Hanno Schaefer, Susanne S. Renner
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    Aretuza Sousa, Natalie Cusimano, Susanne S Renner
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    ABSTRACT: Background and AimsSince the advent of molecular phylogenetics, numerous attempts have been made to infer the evolutionary trajectories of chromosome numbers on DNA phylogenies. Ideally, such inferences should be evaluated against cytogenetic data. Towards this goal, we carried out phylogenetic modelling of chromosome number change and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in a medium sized genus of Araceae to elucidate if data from chromosomal markers would support maximum likelihood-inferred changes in chromosome numbers among close relatives. Typhonium, the focal genus, includes species with 2n = 65 and 2n = 8, the lowest known count in the family.MethodsA phylogeny from nuclear and plastid sequences (96 taxa, 4252 nucleotides) and counts for all included species (15 of them first reported here) were used to model chromosome number evolution, assuming discrete events, such as polyploidization and descending or ascending dysploidy, occurring at different rates. FISH with three probes (5S rDNA, 45S rDNA and Arabidopsis-like telomeres) was performed on ten species with 2n = 8 to 2n = 24.Key ResultsThe best-fitting models assume numerous past chromosome number reductions. Of the species analysed with FISH, the two with the lowest chromosome numbers contained interstitial telomeric signals (Its), which together with the phylogeny and modelling indicates decreasing dysploidy as an explanation for the low numbers. A model-inferred polyploidization in another species is matched by an increase in rDNA sites.Conclusions The combination of a densely sampled phylogeny, ancestral state modelling and FISH revealed that the species with n = 4 is highly derived, with the FISH data pointing to a Robertsonian fusion-like chromosome rearrangement in the ancestor of this species.
    Annals of Botany 02/2014; · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    Natalia Filipowicz, Hanno Schaefer, Susanne S. Renner
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    ABSTRACT: The circumscription of the five to eight species of Luffa, as well as their correct names, have long been problematic. Experts on the genus, most recently C. Heiser and C. Jeffrey, have disagreed on the number of species in the New World and the application of the name L. operculata, which in turn affected the names L. quinquefida and L. sepium. Heiser used classic biosystematic methods, including experimental crossing, to infer species boundaries, but neither researcher had today’s option of using DNA sequences for this purpose. We sequenced 51 accessions of Luffa, representing the geographic range of the genus and as much as possible topotypical or type material. Phylogenies from four non-coding plastid regions and the nuclear ribosomal DNA spacer region show that eight clades of specimens have geographicmorphological coherence. Heiser’s view that Luffa has three species in the New World is supported, and there are four species in tropical and subtropical Asia. Australia has an endemic species, differing from the Indian species with which it had long been lumped. Our vouchered ITS and plastid sequences from throughout species’ ranges are available in GenBank and can serve to identify Luffa material similar to standard DNA barcoding regions. We also provide new arguments for Heiser’s application of the name L. operculata to a South American species, countering Jeffrey’s arguments in favor of its use for a Central American species.
    Systematic Botany 01/2014; 39(1):205-215. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Foulden Maar lake sediments in Otago, South Island, New Zealand, date to the earliest Miocene and provide an important picture of the diversity of the Australasian biota, paleoecology, and climate at a time when New Zealand had a smaller land area than today. The diverse rainforest contains many taxa now restricted to Australia, New Caledonia, or South America. The presence of Luzuriaga-like fossils in these deposits is important for understanding Alstroemeriaceae evolution and the biogeography of genera shared between New Zealand and South America. Leaves and a flower with in situ pollen that resemble extant Luzuriaga are described and placed phylogenetically. Geographic range information and a molecular clock model for the Alstroemeriaceae were used to investigate possible biogeographic scenarios and the influence of the new fossil on inferred divergence times. LUZURIAGA PETERBANNISTERI Conran, Bannister, Mildenh., & D.E.Lee sp. nov. represents the first macrofossil record for Alstroemeriaceae. An associated Luzuriaga-like flower with in situ fossil pollen of Liliacidites contortus Mildenh. & Bannister sp. nov. is also described. The biogeographic analysis suggests that there have been several dispersal events across the Southern Ocean for the genus, with the fossil representing a now-extinct New Zealand lineage. LUZURIAGA was present in Early Miocene New Zealand, indicating a long paleogeographic history for the genus, and L. peterbannisteri strengthens biogeographic connections between South America and Australasia during the Oligocene and earliest Miocene.
    American Journal of Botany 01/2014; 101(1):141-55. · 2.59 Impact Factor
  • Marion Chartier, Marc Gibernau, Susanne S Renner
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    ABSTRACT: Most plant/pollinator interactions are mutualistic, involving rewards provided by flowers or inflorescences to pollinators. Antagonistic plant/pollinator interactions, in which flowers offer no rewards, are rare and concentrated in a few families including Araceae. In the latter, they involve trapping of pollinators, which are released loaded with pollen but unrewarded. To understand the evolution of such systems, we compiled data on the pollinators and types of interactions, and coded 21 characters, including interaction type, pollinator order, and 19 floral traits. A new phylogenetic framework comes from a matrix of plastid and new nuclear DNA sequences for 135 species from 119 genera (5342 nucleotides). The ancestral pollination interaction in Araceae was reconstructed as probably rewarding albeit with low confidence since information is available for only 56 of the 120-130 genera. Bayesian stochastic trait mapping showed that spadix zonation, presence of an appendix, and flower sexuality were correlated with pollination interaction type. In the Araceae, having unisexual flowers appears to have provided the morphological precondition for the evolution of traps. Compared with the frequency of shifts between deceptive and rewarding pollination systems in orchids, our results indicate less lability in the Araceae, probably because of morphologically and sexually more specialized inflorescences. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolution 11/2013; · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most fruits in our daily diet are the products of domestication and breeding. Here we report a map of genome variation for a major fruit that encompasses ∼3.6 million variants, generated by deep resequencing of 115 cucumber lines sampled from 3,342 accessions worldwide. Comparative analysis suggests that fruit crops underwent narrower bottlenecks during domestication than grain crops. We identified 112 putative domestication sweeps; 1 of these regions contains a gene involved in the loss of bitterness in fruits, an essential domestication trait of cucumber. We also investigated the genomic basis of divergence among the cultivated populations and discovered a natural genetic variant in a β-carotene hydroxylase gene that could be used to breed cucumbers with enhanced nutritional value. The genomic history of cucumber evolution uncovered here provides the basis for future genomics-enabled breeding.
    Nature Genetics 10/2013; · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nonphotosynthetic plants possess strongly reconfigured plastomes attributable to convergent losses of photosynthesis and housekeeping genes, making them excellent systems for studying genome evolution under relaxed selective pressures. We report the complete plastomes of 10 photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic parasites plus their nonparasitic sister from the broomrape family (Orobanchaceae). By reconstructing the history of gene losses and genome reconfigurations, we find that the establishment of obligate parasitism triggers the relaxation of selective constraints. Partly because of independent losses of one inverted repeat region, Orobanchaceae plastomes vary 3.5-fold in size, with 45 kb in American squawroot (Conopholis americana) representing the smallest plastome reported from land plants. Of the 42 to 74 retained unique genes, only 16 protein genes, 15 tRNAs, and four rRNAs are commonly found. Several holoparasites retain ATP synthase genes with intact open reading frames, suggesting a prolonged function in these plants. The loss of photosynthesis alters the chromosomal architecture in that recombinogenic factors accumulate, fostering large-scale chromosomal rearrangements as functional reduction proceeds. The retention of DNA fragments is strongly influenced by both their proximity to genes under selection and the co-occurrence with those in operons, indicating complex constraints beyond gene function that determine the evolutionary survival time of plastid regions in nonphotosynthetic plants.
    The Plant Cell 10/2013; · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the large Cucurbitaceae genus Cucumis,cucumber (C. sativus) is the only species with 2n=2x=14 chromosomes.The majority of the remaining species, including melon (C. melo) andthe sister species of cucumber,C. hystrix,have 2n=2x=24 chromosomes, implying a reduction from n=12 to n=7. To understand the underlying mechanisms we investigated chromosome synteny among cucumber, C. hystrix, and melon using integrated and complementary approaches. We identified 14 inversions and aC. hystrixlineage-specific reciprocal inversion between C. hystrix and melon. The results reveal the location and orientation of 53 C. hystrix syntenic blocks on the seven cucumber chromosomes and allow us to infer at least 59 chromosome rearrangement events that led to the seven cucumber chromosomes, including fivefusions, four translocations, and 50 inversions.The 12 inferred chromosomes of an ancestor (AK1-AK12) similar to melon andC. hystrixhad strikingly different evolutionary fates, withcucumber chromosome C1apparentlyresultingfrom the insertion of chromosome AK12 into the centromeric region of translocated AK2/AK8,cucumber C3 originating from a Robertsonian-like translocation between AK4 and AK6, andC5from the fusion of AK9 and AK10. Chromosomes C2, C4 and C6 were the result of complex reshuffling of syntenic blocks from 3 (AK3, AK5, and AK11), 3(AK5, AK7, and AK8) and 5 (AK2, AK3, AK5, AK8 and AK11) ancestral chromosomes, respectively, through 33 fusion, translocation and inversionevents. Previous results thatcucumber C7stayed largely intactduringthe entire evolution of Cucumis are supported. Having the new genome of the closest relative of cucumber, together with that of melon, allows a fine-scale understandingof the mechanisms ofdysploid chromosome reduction not achieved previously. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    The Plant Journal 10/2013; · 6.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Comparisons of closely related species are needed to understand the fine-scale dynamics of retrotransposon evolution in flowering plants. Towards this goal we classified the LTR retrotransposons from six diploid and one tetraploid species of Orobanchaceae. The study species are the autotrophic, non-parasitic Lindenbergia philippensis (as an outgroup) and six closely related holoparasitic species of Orobanche (O. crenata, O. cumana, O. gracilis (tetraploid), O. pancicii) and Phelipanche (P. lavandulacea, P. ramosa). All major plant LTR retrotransposon clades could be identified and appear to be inherited from a common ancestor. Species of Orobanche, but not Phelipanche, are enriched in Ty3/Gypsy retrotransposons due to a diversification of elements, especially chromoviruses. This is particularly striking in O. gracilis where tetraploidization seems to have contributed to the Ty3/Gypsy enrichment and led to the emergence of seven large species-specific families of chromoviruses. The preferential insertion of chromoviruses in heterochromatin via their chromodomains might have favored their diversification and enrichment. Our phylogenetic analyses of LTR retrotransposons from Orobanchaceae revealed that the Bianca clade of Ty1/Copia and SMART-related elements are much more widely distributed among angiosperms than previously known. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    The Plant Journal 05/2013; · 6.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: New theoretical and conceptual frameworks are required for evolutionary biology to capitalize on the wealth of data now becoming available from the study of genomes, phenotypes, and organisms - including humans - in their natural environments.
    PLoS Biology 01/2013; 11(1):e1001466. · 12.69 Impact Factor
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    Susanne S Renner, Arun K Pandey
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    ABSTRACT: The most recent critical checklists of the Cucurbitaceae of India are 30 years old. Since then, botanical exploration, online availability of specimen images and taxonomic literature, and molecular-phylogenetic studies have led to modified taxon boundaries and geographic ranges. We present a checklist of the Cucurbitaceae of India that treats 400 relevant names and provides information on the collecting locations and herbaria for all types. We accept 94 species (10 of them endemic) in 31 genera. For accepted species, we provide their geographic distribution inside and outside India, links to online images of herbarium or living specimens, and information on publicly available DNA sequences to highlight gaps in the current understanding of Indian cucurbit diversity. Of the 94 species, 79% have DNA sequences in GenBank, albeit rarely from Indian material. The most species-rich genera are Trichosanthes with 22 species, Cucumis with 11 (all but two wild), Momordica with 8, and Zehneria with 5. From an evolutionary point of view, India is of special interest because it harbors a wide range of lineages, many of them relatively old and phylogenetically isolated. Phytogeographically, the north eastern and peninsular regions are richest in species, while the Jammu Kashmir and Himachal regions have few Cucurbitaceae. Our checklist probably underestimates the true diversity of Indian Cucurbitaceae, but should help focus efforts towards the least known species and regions.
    PhytoKeys. 01/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: • Premise of the study: Understanding the flexibility of monocot genomes requires a phylogenetic framework, which so far is available for few of the ca. 2800 genera. Here we use a molecular tree for the South American genus Alstroemeria to place karyological information, including fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) signals, in an explicit evolutionary context. • Methods: From a phylogeny based on plastid, nuclear, and mitochondrial sequences for most species of Alstroemeria, we selected early-branching (Chilean) and derived (Brazilian) species for which we obtained 18S-25S and 5S rDNA FISH signals; we also analyzed chromosome numbers, 1C-values, and telomere FISH signals (in two species). • Key results: Chromosome counts for Alstroemeria cf. rupestris and A. pulchella confirm 2n = 16 as typical of the genus, which now has chromosomes counted for 29 of its 78 species. The rDNA sites are polymorphic both among and within species, and interstitial telomeric sites in Alstroemeria cf. rupestris suggest chromosome fusion. • Conclusions: In spite of a constant chromosome number, closely related species of Alstroemeria differ drastically in their rDNA, indicating rapid increase, decrease, or translocations of these genes. Previously proposed Brazilian and Chilean karyotype groups are not natural, and the n = 8 chromosomes in Alstroemeria compared to n = 9 in its sister genus Bomarea may result from a Robertsonian fusion.
    American Journal of Botany 09/2012; 99(9):1501-12. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Biogeography 07/2012; 39(10):1806. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    Lars Nauheimer, Dirk Metzler, Susanne S Renner
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    ABSTRACT: The family Araceae (3790 species, 117 genera) has one of the oldest fossil records among angiosperms. Ecologically, members of this family range from free-floating aquatics (Pistia and Lemna) to tropical epiphytes. Here, we infer some of the macroevolutionary processes that have led to the worldwide range of this family and test how the inclusion of fossil (formerly occupied) geographical ranges affects biogeographical reconstructions. Using a complete genus-level phylogeny from plastid sequences and outgroups representing the 13 other Alismatales families, we estimate divergence times by applying different clock models and reconstruct range shifts under different models of past continental connectivity, with or without the incorporation of fossil locations. Araceae began to diversify in the Early Cretaceous (when the breakup of Pangea was in its final stages), and all eight subfamilies existed before the K/T boundary. Early lineages persist in Laurasia, with several relatively recent entries into Africa, South America, South-East Asia and Australia. Water-associated habitats appear to be ancestral in the family, and DNA substitution rates are especially high in free-floating Araceae. Past distributions inferred when fossils are included differ in nontrivial ways from those without fossils. Our complete genus-level time-scale for the Araceae may prove to be useful for ecological and physiological studies.
    New Phytologist 07/2012; 195(4):938-50. · 6.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The Cucurbitaceae genus Trichosanthes comprises 90-100 species that occur from India to Japan and southeast to Australia and Fiji. Most species have large white or pale yellow petals with conspicuously fringed margins, the fringes sometimes several cm long. Pollination is usually by hawkmoths. Previous molecular data for a small number of species suggested that a monophyletic Trichosanthes might include the Asian genera Gymnopetalum (four species, lacking long petal fringes) and Hodgsonia (two species with petals fringed). Here we test these groups' relationships using a species sampling of c. 60% and 4759 nucleotides of nuclear and plastid DNA. To infer the time and direction of the geographic expansion of the Trichosanthes clade we employ molecular clock dating and statistical biogeographic reconstruction, and we also address the gain or loss of petal fringes. RESULTS: Trichosanthes is monophyletic as long as it includes Gymnopetalum, which itself is polyphyletic. The closest relative of Trichosanthes appears to be the sponge gourds, Luffa, while Hodgsonia is more distantly related. Of six morphology-based sections in Trichosanthes with more than one species, three are supported by the molecular results; two new sections appear warranted. Molecular dating and biogeographic analyses suggest an Oligocene origin of Trichosanthes in Eurasia or East Asia, followed by diversification and spread throughout the Malesian biogeographic region and into the Australian continent. CONCLUSIONS: Long-fringed corollas evolved independently in Hodgsonia and Trichosanthes, followed by two losses in the latter coincident with shifts to other pollinators but not with long-distance dispersal events. Together with the Caribbean Linnaeosicyos, the Madagascan Ampelosicyos and the tropical African Telfairia, these cucurbit lineages represent an ideal system for more detailed studies of the evolution and function of petal fringes in plant-pollinator mutualisms.
    BMC Evolutionary Biology 07/2012; 12(1):108. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We used next-generation sequencing to characterize the genomes of nine species of Orobanchaceae of known phylogenetic relationships, different life forms, and including a polyploid species. The study species are the autotrophic, nonparasitic Lindenbergia philippensis, the hemiparasitic Schwalbea americana, and seven nonphotosynthetic parasitic species of Orobanche (Orobanche crenata, Orobanche cumana, Orobanche gracilis (tetraploid), and Orobanche pancicii) and Phelipanche (Phelipanche lavandulacea, Phelipanche purpurea, and Phelipanche ramosa). Ty3/Gypsy elements comprise 1.93%-28.34% of the nine genomes and Ty1/Copia elements comprise 8.09%-22.83%. When compared with L. philippensis and S. americana, the nonphotosynthetic species contain higher proportions of repetitive DNA sequences, perhaps reflecting relaxed selection on genome size in parasitic organisms. Among the parasitic species, those in the genus Orobanche have smaller genomes but higher proportions of repetitive DNA than those in Phelipanche, mostly due to a diversification of repeats and an accumulation of Ty3/Gypsy elements. Genome downsizing in the tetraploid O. gracilis probably led to sequence loss across most repeat types.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution 06/2012; 29(11):3601-11. · 10.35 Impact Factor
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    Natalia Filipowicz, Susanne S Renner
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    ABSTRACT: Hallucinogenic or toxic species of Brunfelsia (Solanaceae: Petunieae) are important in native cultures throughout South America, and the genus also contains several horticulturally important species. An earlier morphological revision of the c. 50 species recognized three main groups, one consisting of the 23 Antillean species, another of southern South American and Andean species, and a third of species from the Amazon Basin and Guiana Shield. Based on plastid and nuclear DNA sequences from up to 65 accessions representing 80% of the species, we generated a phylogeny and a calibrated chronogram for Brunfelsia to infer clade expansion and shifts in pollinators and fruit types. Brunfelsia flowers offer nectar, and attract lepidoptera, hummingbirds, or bees; the fruits are dry or fleshy. Our results imply that Brunfelsia is 16-21 Myr old and entered the Antilles from South America early during its history, with subsequent expansion along the island arc. The ancestor of the Antillean clade was hawk-moth-pollinated and had fleshy capsules, perhaps facilitating dispersal by birds. The only shift to hummingbird pollination occurred on Cuba, which also harbors the largest single radiation, with 11 species (10 included in our study) that apparently arose over the past 4 Myr. Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico each sustained smaller radiations. The data also reveal at least one new species.
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 03/2012; 64(1):1-11. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    Christoph Heibl, Susanne S Renner
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    ABSTRACT: Among the World's most challenging environments for plant life is the Atacama Desert, an arid zone extending over 1300 km and from sea level to 2000/3000 m altitude along the southwestern Andean foothills. Plants there and in the adjacent Mediterranean zone exhibit striking adaptations, and we here address the question whether in a species-rich clade such adaptations arose in parallel, at different times, or simultaneously. Answering this type of question has been a major concern of evolutionary biology over the past few years, with a growing consensus that lineages tend to be conservative in their vegetative traits and niche requirements. Combined nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequences for 112 species of Oxalidales (4900 aligned nucleotides) were used for a fossil-calibrated phylogeny that includes 43 of the 54 species of Chilean Oxalis, and species distribution models (SDMs) incorporating precipitation, temperature, and fog, and the phylogeny were used to reconstruct ancestral habitat preferences, relying on likelihood and Bayesian techniques. Since uneven collecting can reduce the power of SDMs, we compared 3 strategies to correct for collecting effort. Unexpectedly, the Oxalis flora of Chile consists of 7 distant lineages that originated at different times prior to the last Andean uplift pulse; some had features preadapting them to seasonally arid or xeric conditions. Models that incorporated fog and a "collecting activity surface" performed best and identified the Mediterranean zone as a hotspot of Oxalis species as well as lineage diversity because it harbors a mix of ancient and young groups, including insufficiently arid-adapted species. There is no evidence of rapid adaptive radiation.
    Systematic Biology 02/2012; 61(5):823-34. · 12.17 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
624.05 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • University of Vienna
      • Department of Structural and Functional Botany
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 2004–2013
    • Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich
      • • Department of Biology II
      • • Division of Systematic Botany and Mycology
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2012
    • Medical University of Gdansk
      Danzig, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland
  • 1998–2012
    • University of Missouri - St. Louis
      • Department of Biology
      Saint Louis, MI, United States
  • 2011
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
      • Department of Plant Biology
      Urbana, IL, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • University of New England (Australia)
      • School of Environmental and Rural Science
      Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
    • University of Natural Resources and Life Science Vienna
      • Institut für Botanik
      Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • 2006–2011
    • Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology
      • • Beijing Botanical Garden
      • • South China Botanical Garden
      Beijing, Beijing Shi, China
    • Colorado State University
      • Department of Biology
      Fort Collins, CO, United States
  • 2010
    • Imperial College London
      • Division of Ecology and Evolution
      London, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2001–2007
    • Missouri Botanical Garden
      San Luis, Missouri, United States
  • 2000
    • University of Missouri
      Columbia, Missouri, United States