Genomic insights into rapid speciation within the world’s largest tree genus Syzygium

Low, Yee Wen, Rajaraman, Sitaram, Tomlin, Crystal M., Ahmad, Joffre Ali, Ardi, Wisnu H., Armstrong, Kate, Athen, Parusuraman, Berhaman, Ahmad, Bone, Ruth E., Cheek, Martin, Cho, Nicholas R.W., Choo, Le Min, Cowie, Ian D., Crayn, Darren, Fleck, Steven J., Ford, Andrew J., Forster, Paul I., Girmansyah, Deden, Goyder, David J., Gray, Bruce, Heatubun, Charlie D., Ibrahim, Ali, Ibrahim, Bazilah, Jayasinghe, Himesh D., Kalat, Muhammad Ariffin, Kathriarachchi, Hashendra S., Kintamani, Endang, Koh, Sin Lan, Lai, Joseph T.K, Lee, Serena M.L., Leong, Paul K.F., Lim, Wei Hao, Lum, Shawn K.Y., Mahyuni, Ridha, McDonald, William J.F., Metali, Faizah, Mustaqim, Wendy A., Naiki, Akiyo, Ngo, Kang Min, Niissalo, Matti, Ranasinghe, Subhani, Repin, Rimi, Rustiami, Himmah, Simbiak, Victor I., Sukri, Rahayu S., Sunarti, Siti, Trethowan, Liam A., Trias-Blasi, Anna, Vasconcelos, Thais N.C., Wanma, Jimmy F., Widodo, Pudji, Wijesundara, Douglas Siril A., Worboys, Stuart, Yap, Jing Wei, Yong, Kien Thai, Khew, Gillian S.W., Salojärvi, Jarkko, Michael, Todd P., Middleton, David J., Burslem, David F.R.P., Lindqvist, Charlotte, Lucas, Eve J., and Albert, Victor A. (2022) Genomic insights into rapid speciation within the world’s largest tree genus Syzygium. Nature Communications, 13. 5031.

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Species radiations, despite immense phenotypic variation, can be difficult to resolve phylogenetically when genetic change poorly matches the rapidity of diversification. Genomic potential furnished by palaeopolyploidy, and relative roles for adaptation, random drift and hybridisation in the apportionment of genetic variation, remain poorly understood factors. Here, we study these aspects in a model radiation, Syzygium, the most species-rich tree genus worldwide. Genomes of 182 distinct species and 58 unidentified taxa are compared against a chromosome-level reference genome of the sea apple, Syzygium grande. We show that while Syzygium shares an ancient genome doubling event with other Myrtales, little evidence exists for recent polyploidy events. Phylogenomics confirms that Syzygium originated in Australia-New Guinea and diversified in multiple migrations, eastward to the Pacific and westward to India and Africa, in bursts of speciation visible as poorly resolved branches on phylogenies. Furthermore, some sublineages demonstrate genomic clines that recapitulate cladogenetic events, suggesting that stepwise geographic speciation, a neutral process, has been important in Syzygium diversification.

Item ID: 76350
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2023 04:33
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310410 Phylogeny and comparative analysis @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310411 Plant and fungus systematics and taxonomy @ 50%
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