Radiation history of Asian Asarum (sect. Heterotropa, Aristolochiaceae) resolved using a phylogenomic approach based on double-digested RAD-seq data

Yudai Okuyama, Nana Goto, Atsushi J. Nagano, Masaki Yasugi, Goro Kokubugata, Hiroshi Kudoh, Zhechen Qi, Takuro Ito, Satoshi Kakishima, Takashi Sugawara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


• Background and Aims The genus Asarum sect. Heterotropa (Aristolochiaceae) probably experienced rapid diversification into 62 species centred on the Japanese Archipelago and Taiwan, providing an ideal model for studying island adaptive radiation. However, resolving the phylogeny of this plant group using Sanger sequencing-based approaches has been challenging. To uncover the radiation history of Heterotropa, we employed a phylogenomic approach using double-digested RAD-seq (ddRAD-seq) to yield a sufficient number of phylogenetic signals and compared its utility with that of the Sanger sequencing-based approach. • Methods We first compared the performance of phylogenetic analysis based on the plastid matK and trnL–F regions and nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (nrITS), and phylogenomic analysis based on ddRAD-seq using a reduced set of the plant materials (83 plant accessions consisting of 50 species, one subspecies and six varieties). We also conducted more thorough phylogenomic analyses including the reconstruction of biogeographic history using comprehensive samples of 135 plant accessions consisting of 54 species, one subspecies, nine varieties of Heterotropa and six outgroup species. • Key Results Phylogenomic analyses of Heterotropa based on ddRAD-seq were superior to Sanger sequencing-based approaches and resulted in a fully resolved phylogenetic tree with strong support for 72.0–84.8 % (depending on the tree reconstruction methods) of the branches. We clarified the history of Heterotropa radiation and found that A. forbesii, the only deciduous Heterotropa species native to mainland China, is sister to the evergreen species (core Heterotropa) mostly distributed across the Japanese Archipelago and Taiwan. • Conclusions The core Heterotropa group was divided into nine subclades, each of which had a narrow geographic distribution. Moreover, most estimated dispersal events (22 out of 24) were between adjacent areas, indicating that the range expansion has been geographically restricted throughout the radiation history. The findings enhance our understanding of the remarkable diversification of plant lineages in the Japanese Archipelago and Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-260
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of Botany
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 1


  • Asarum
  • Biogeographic history reconstruction
  • Double-digested RAD-seq
  • East Asia
  • Heterotropa
  • Japan archipelago
  • Phylogenetic resolution
  • Phylogenomics
  • Species radiation
  • Taiwan


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