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Research Project: Genetic Characterization, Genetic Improvement, and Best Horticultural Management Practices for Subtropical/Tropical Ornamental Germplasm

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Phylogeny and historical biogeography of the cocosoid palms (Arecaceae, Arecoideae, Cocoseae) inferred from sequences of six WRKY gene family loci

Author
item Meerow, Alan
item Noblick, Larry - Montgomery Botanical Center
item Dayana, Salas-leiva - Florida International University
item Sanchez, Vanessa
item Fransisco-ortega, Javier - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
item Jestrow, Brett - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
item Nakamura, Kyoko

Submitted to: Botany
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2015
Publication Date: 8/3/2015
Citation: Phylogeny and historical biogeography of the cocosoid palms (Arecaceae, Arecoideae, Cocoseae) inferred from sequences of six WRKY gene family loci. Botany 2015 meeting in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.

Interpretive Summary: The coconut tribe (Cocoseae) is the most economically important natural group of palms, and includes oil palm, and peach palm as well as the coconut. It is most diverse in the American tropics with one and two genera found only in South Africa and Madagascar, respectively. The tribe is split into three subgroups, the coconut group, the oil palm group and the peach palm group. We used DNA sequences of six single copy genes to construct a tree of life of the whole tribe across 96 samples representing all of the genera and the two most closely related tribes. We analyzed the sequence matrix with a variety of analytical approaches that included combining all six genes together in a supermatrix, as well as using newer "species tree" estimation programs that evaluate each of the individual gene trees to develop a consensus. Congruent and well-resolved trees of life were obtained with the supermatrix. Those topologies differ slightly from a previous analysis with WRKY loci of only the coconut subgroup. It appears from these new analyses that the genus Attalea is most closely related to the coconus, Cocos nucifera. The resolution of the peach palm subgroup is best supported as being composed of two sister groups, the genera Bactris and Desmoncus in one, for which there is good supporting evidence from flower characters, and a second comprising the genera Acrocomia, Astrocaryum and Aiphanes. The biogeographic history of the coconut tribe is dominated by dispersal events. The tribe originated in the late Cretaceous, probably in northern South America and/or Central America, and dispersed throughout the Amazon region by the Paleocene. While the coconut subgroup disappeared from Central America, this region figured importantly in the early history of the other two subgroups, the oil palm and peach palm subtribes. Most the of the modern lineages in the entire tribe date to the Eocene. Eastern Brazil was the ancestral area for the American genera of the coconut subtribe. Several early lineages of the American coconut subtribe spread west to the proto-Andes and Chile, with subsequent isolation due to marine incursions and uplift of the Andean chain. The subtribe didn't reach Madagascar until the Eocene, which may represent migration through Cenozoic tropical Antarctica. Major lineages of the peach palm group evolved in the late Eocene, dispersing from Central America and Western Amazonas throughout the Amazon region, Northern South America and north to Mexico and the West Indies. Establishment of the major lineages of this group appear contemporary with the terminal Eocene cooling event. The presence of Elaeis in Africa dates to the late Miocene and appears to be a long-distance dispersal event. Evaluated together, the supermatrix and species tree analyses presented in this paper give us the most accurate picture of the evolutionary history of the tribe to date, with more congruence than incongruence among the various methodologies.

Technical Abstract: Arecaceae tribe Cocoseae is the most economically important tribe of palms, including both coconut and African oil palm. It is mostly represented in the Neotropics, with one and two genera endemic to South Africa and Madagascar, respectively. Using primers for six single copy WRKY gene family loci, we amplified DNA from 96 samples representing all genera of the palm tribe Cocoseae as well as outgroup tribes Reinhardtieae and Roystoneae. We compared parsimony (MP), maximum likelihood (ML), and Bayesian (B) analysis of the supermatrix with three species tree estimation approaches. Subtribe Elaeidinae is sister to the Bactridinae in all analyses. Within subtribe Attaleinae, Lytocaryum, previously nested in Syagrus, is now positioned by MP and ML as sister to the former with high support; B maintains Lytocaryum embedded within Syagrus. MP and ML resolve Cocos as sister to Syagrus; B positions Cocos as sister to Attalea. Bactridineae is composed of two sister clades, Bactris and Desmoncus in one, for which there is morphological support, and a second comprising Acrocomia, Astrocaryum and Aiphanes. Two B and one ML gene tree-species estimation approaches are incongruent with the supermatrix in a few critical intergeneric clades, but resolve the same infrageneric relationships. The biogeographic history of the Cocoseae is dominated by dispersal events. The tribe originated in the late Cretaceous in South America. Evaluated together, the supermatrix and species tree analyses presented give us the most accurate picture of the evolutionary history of the tribe to date, with more congruence than incongruence among the various methodologies.