PLoS ONE: Biogeographical patterns and speciation of the genus Pinguicula (Lentibulariaceae) inferred by phylogenetic analyses

Fig.2 in Shimai et al. (2021)


Earlier phylogenetic studies in the genus Pinguicua (Lentibulariaceae) suggested that the species within a geographical region was rather monophyletic, although the sampling was limited or was restricted to specific regions. Those results conflicted with the floral morphology-based classification, which has been widely accepted to date. In the current study, one nuclear ribosomal DNA (internal transcribed spacer; ITS) and two regions of chloroplast DNA ( matK and rpl32-trnL), from up to ca. 80% of the taxa in the genus Pinguicula, covering all three subgenera, were sequenced to demonstrate the inconsistency and explore a possible evolutionary history of the genus. Some incongruence was observed between nuclear and chloroplast topologies and the results from each of the three DNA analyses conflicted with the morphology-based subgeneric divisions. Both the ITS tree and network, however, corresponded with the biogeographical patterns of the genus supported by life-forms (winter rosette or hibernaculum formation) and basic chromosome numbers (haploidy). The dormant strategy evolved in a specific geographical region is a phylogenetic constraint and a synapomorphic characteristic within a lineage. Therefore, the results denied the idea that the Mexican group, morphologically divided into the three subgenera, independently acquired winter rosette formations. Topological incongruence among the trees or reticulations, indicated by parallel edges in phylogenetic networks, implied that some taxa originated by introgressive hybridisation. Although there are exceptions, species within the same geographical region arose from a common ancestor. Therefore, the classification by the floral characteristics is rather unreliable. The results obtained from this study suggest that evolution within the genus Pinguicula has involved; 1) ancient expansions to geographical regions with gene flow and subsequent vicariance with genetic drift, 2) acquirement of a common dormant strategy within a specific lineage to adapt a local climate (i.e., synapomorphic characteristic), 3) recent speciation in a short time span linked to introgressive hybridisation or multiplying the ploidy level (i.e., divergence), and 4) parallel evolution in floral traits among lineages found in different geographical regions (i.e., convergence). As such, the floral morphology masks and obscures the phylogenetic relationships among species in the genus.