Molecular evidence for adaptive radiation of Micromeria Benth. (Lamiaceae) on the Canary Islands as inferred from chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences and ISSR fingerprint data

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2006
Authors:H. Meimberg, Abele, T., Bräuchler, C., McKay, J. K., de Paz, P. L. Pérez, Heubl, G.
Journal:Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Date Published:Dec
Keywords:Adaptation: Biological, Atlantic Islands, Dna Fingerprinting, DNA Primers, DNA: Chloroplast, Genetic Variation, Geranyltranstransferase, Introns, Lamiaceae, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeny, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Sequence Analysis: DNA

The Canary Islands have been a focus for phylogeographic studies on the colonization and diversification of endemic angiosperm taxa. Based on phylogeographic patterns, both inter island colonization and adaptive radiation seem to be the driving forces for speciation in most taxa. Here, we investigated the diversification of Micromeria on the Canary Islands and Madeira at the inter- and infraspecific level using inter simple sequence repeat PCR (ISSR), the trnK-Intron and the trnT-trnL-spacer of the cpDNA and a low copy nuclear gene. The genus Micromeria (Lamiaceae, Mentheae) includes 16 species and 13 subspecies in Macaronesia. Most taxa are restricted endemics, or grow in similar ecological conditions on two islands. An exception is M. varia, a widespread species inhabits the lowland scrub on each island of the archipelago and could represent an ancestral taxon from which radiation started on the different islands. Our analyses support a split between the "eastern" islands Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria and the "western" islands Tenerife, La Palma and El Hierro. The colonization of Madeira started from the western Islands, probably from Tenerife as indicated by the sequence data. We identified two lineages of Micromeria on Gomera but all other islands appear to be colonized by a single lineage, supporting adaptive radiation as the major evolutionary force for the diversification of Micromeria. We also discuss the possible role of gene flow between lineages of different Micromeria species on one island after multiple colonizations.

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