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  1. Abstract

    Bryophytes generally have broad geographical ranges that suggest high dispersal ability. The aim of this study was to test hypotheses about dispersal limitation, as indicated by isolation by distance, in four spore-producing species of the moss genus Sphagnum (Sphagnum carolinianum, Sphagnum missouricum, Sphagnum macrophyllum and Sphagnum pylaesii) and to assess whether plants in the southern USA harbour high levels of unique alleles and/or other indicators of exceptional genetic diversity. Isolation by distance was detected in all four species, but regional patterns of genetic structure were very species specific. Northern and southern genotype groups were detected in S. carolinianum and S. missouricum, but in S. pylaesii plants from the Adirondack Mountains of New York were genetically distinct from others to the north and south. One species, S. macrophyllum, exhibited differentiation between northern and southern genetic groups that appeared to reflect more ancient phylogenetic diversification.

  2. Abstract— The genus Solidago represents a taxonomically challenging group due to its sheer number of species, putative hybridization, polyploidy, and shallow genetic divergence among species. Here we use a dataset obtained exclusively from herbarium specimens to evaluate the status of Solidago ulmifolia var. palmeri , a morphologically subtle taxon potentially confined to Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri. A multivariate analysis of both discrete and continuous morphological data revealed no clear distinction between S. ulmifolia var. palmeri and Solidago ulmifolia var. ulmifolia . Solidago ulmifolia var. palmeri ’s status was also assessed with a phylogenomic and SNP clustering analysis of data generated with the “Angiosperms353” probe kit. Neither analysis supported Solidago ulmifolia var. palmeri as a distinct taxon, and we suggest that this name should be discarded. The status of Solidago delicatula (formerly known as Solidago ulmifolia var. microphylla ) was also assessed. Both morphological and phylogenetic analyses supported the species status of S. delicatula and we suggest maintaining this species at its current rank. These results highlight the utility of the Angiosperms353 probe kit, both with herbarium tissue and at lower taxonomic levels. Indeed, this is the first study to utilize this kit to identify genetic groups within a species.
  3. Beaulieu, Jeremy (Ed.)
    Abstract Oenothera sect. Calylophus is a North American group of 13 recognized taxa in the evening primrose family (Onagraceae) with an evolutionary history that may include independent origins of bee pollination, edaphic endemism, and permanent translocation heterozygosity. Like other groups that radiated relatively recently and rapidly, taxon boundaries within Oenothera sect. Calylophus have remained challenging to circumscribe. In this study, we used target enrichment, flanking noncoding regions, gene tree/species tree methods, tests for gene flow modified for target-enrichment data, and morphometric analysis to reconstruct phylogenetic hypotheses, evaluate current taxon circumscriptions, and examine character evolution in Oenothera sect. Calylophus. Because sect. Calylophus comprises a clade with a relatively restricted geographic range, we were able to extensively sample across the range of geographic, edaphic, and morphological diversity in the group. We found that the combination of exons and flanking noncoding regions led to improved support for species relationships. We reconstructed potential hybrid origins of some accessions and note that if processes such as hybridization are not taken into account, the number of inferred evolutionary transitions may be artificially inflated. We recovered strong evidence for multiple evolutionary origins of bee pollination from ancestral hawkmoth pollination, edaphic specialization on gypsum, and permanent translocation heterozygosity.more »This study applies newly emerging techniques alongside dense infraspecific sampling and morphological analyses to effectively reconstruct the recalcitrant history of a rapid radiation. [Gypsum endemism; Oenothera sect. Calylophus; Onagraceae; phylogenomics; pollinator shift; recent radiation; target enrichment.]« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 18, 2023
  4. PREMISE The successful application of universal targeted sequencing markers, such as those developed for the Angiosperms353 probe set, within populations could reduce or eliminate the need for specific marker development, while retaining the benefits of full-gene sequences in population-level analyses. However, whether the Angiosperms353 markers provide sufficient variation within species to calculate demographic parameters is untested. METHODS Using herbarium specimens from a 50-year-old floristic survey in Texas, we sequenced 95 samples from 24 species using the Angiosperms353 probe set. Our data workflow calls variants within species and prepares data for population genetic analysis using standard metrics. In our case study, gene recovery was affected by genomic library concentration only at low concentrations and displayed limited phylogenetic bias. RESULTS We identified over 1000 segregating variants with zero missing data for 92% of species and demonstrate that Angiosperms353 markers contain sufficient variation to estimate pairwise nucleotide diversity (π)—typically between 0.002 and 0.010, with most variation found in flanking non-coding regions. In a subset of variants that were filtered to reduce linkage, we uncovered high heterozygosity in many species, suggesting that denser sampling within species should permit estimation of gene flow and population dynamics. DISCUSSION Angiosperms353 should benefit conservation genetic studies by providingmore »universal repeatable markers, low missing data, and haplotype information, while permitting inclusion of decades-old herbarium specimens.« less
  5. Charleston, Michael (Ed.)
    Abstract We present a 517-gene phylogenetic framework for the breadfruit genus Artocarpus (ca. 70 spp., Moraceae), making use of silica-dried leaves from recent fieldwork and herbarium specimens (some up to 106 years old) to achieve 96% taxon sampling. We explore issues relating to assembly, paralogous loci, partitions, and analysis method to reconstruct a phylogeny that is robust to variation in data and available tools. Although codon partitioning did not result in any substantial topological differences, the inclusion of flanking noncoding sequence in analyses significantly increased the resolution of gene trees. We also found that increasing the size of data sets increased convergence between analysis methods but did not reduce gene-tree conflict. We optimized the HybPiper targeted-enrichment sequence assembly pipeline for short sequences derived from degraded DNA extracted from museum specimens. Although the subgenera of Artocarpus were monophyletic, revision is required at finer scales, particularly with respect to widespread species. We expect our results to provide a basis for further studies in Artocarpus and provide guidelines for future analyses of data sets based on target enrichment data, particularly those using sequences from both fresh and museum material, counseling careful attention to the potential of off-target sequences to improve resolution. [Artocarpus; Moraceae;more »noncoding sequences; phylogenomics; target enrichment.]« less
  6. Cordaux, Richard (Ed.)
    Abstract Crocodilians are an economically, culturally, and biologically important group. To improve researchers’ ability to study genome structure, evolution, and gene regulation in the clade, we generated a high-quality de novo genome assembly of the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, from Illumina short read data from genomic libraries and in vitro proximity-ligation libraries. The assembled genome is 2,123.5 Mb, with N50 scaffold size of 17.7 Mb and N90 scaffold size of 3.8 Mb. We then annotated this new assembly, increasing the number of annotated genes by 74%. In total, 96% of 23,242 annotated genes were associated with a functional protein domain. Furthermore, multiple noncoding functional regions and mappable genetic markers were identified. Upon analysis and overlapping the results of branch length estimation and site selection tests for detecting potential selection, we found 16 putative genes under positive selection in crocodilians, 10 in C. porosus and 6 in Alligator mississippiensis. The annotated C. porosus genome will serve as an important platform for osmoregulatory, physiological, and sex determination studies, as well as an important reference in investigating the phylogenetic relationships of crocodilians, birds, and other tetrapods.