Australasian orchid biogeography at continental scale: molecular phylogenetic insights for the Sun Orchids (Thelymitra, Orchidaceae)

Nauheimer, Lars, Schley, Rowan J., Clements, Mark A., Micheneau, Claire, and Nargar, Katharina (2018) Australasian orchid biogeography at continental scale: molecular phylogenetic insights for the Sun Orchids (Thelymitra, Orchidaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 127. pp. 304-319.

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Australia harbours a rich and highly endemic orchid flora, with c. 90% of species endemic to the country. Despite that, the biogeographic history of Australasian orchid lineages is only poorly understood. Here we examined evolutionary relationships and the spatio-temporal evolution of the sun orchids (Thelymitra, 119 species), which display disjunct distribution patterns frequently found in Australasian orchid lineages. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted based on one nuclear (ITS) and three plastid markers (matK, psbJ-petA, ycf1) using Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian inference. Divergence time estimations were carried out with a relaxed molecular clock in a Bayesian framework. Ancestral ranges were estimated using the dispersal-extinction-cladogenesis model and an area coding based on major disjunctions. The phylogenetic analyses clarified intergeneric relationships within Thelymitrinae, with Epiblema being sister to Thelymitra plus Calochilus, both of which were well-supported. Within Thelymitra, eight major and several minor clades were retrieved in the nuclear and plastid phylogenetic reconstructions. Five major clades corresponded to species complexes previously recognized based on morphological characters, whereas other previously recognized species groups were found to be paraphyletic. Conflicting signals between the nuclear and plastid phylogenetic reconstructions provided support for hybridization and plastid capture events both in the deeper evolutionary history of the genus and more recently. Divergence time estimation placed the origin of Thelymitra in the late Miocene (c. 10.8 Ma) and the origin of the majority of the main clades within Thelymitra during the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene, with the majority of extant species arising during the Pleistocene. Ancestral range reconstruction revealed that the early diversification of the genus in the late Miocene and Pliocene took place predominantly in southwest Australia, where most species with highly restricted distributional ranges occur. Several long-distance dispersal events eastwards across the Nullarbor Plain were inferred, recurrently resulting in lineage divergence within the genus. The predominant eastwards direction of long-distance dispersal events in Thelymitra highlights the importance of the prevailing westerly winds in the Southern Hemisphere for the present-day distribution of the genus, giving rise to the Thelymitra floras of Tasmania, New Zealand and New Caledonia, which were inferred to be of comparatively recent origin.

Item ID: 56719
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9513
Keywords: Australia, diurideae, historical biogeography, hybridisation, molecular dating, molecular phylogeny, thelymitrinae
Copyright Information: © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Funders: Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS), Australian Orchid Foundation (AOF)
Projects and Grants: ABRS BBR210-34, ABRS RFL214-62, AOF 295/14
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2019 23:43
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4199 Other environmental sciences > 419999 Other environmental sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
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