Adaptive radiation and genetic differentiation in the woody Sonchus alliance (Asteraceae: Sonchinae) in the Canary Islands Article

Kim, SC, Crawford, DJ, Francisco-Ortega, J et al. (1999). Adaptive radiation and genetic differentiation in the woody Sonchus alliance (Asteraceae: Sonchinae) in the Canary Islands . PLANT SYSTEMATICS AND EVOLUTION, 215(1-4), 101-118. 10.1007/BF00984650

cited authors

  • Kim, SC; Crawford, DJ; Francisco-Ortega, J; Santos-Guerra, A


  • The woody Sonchus alliance consists of 19 species of Sonchus subg. Dendrosonchus, one species of Sonchus subg. Sonchus and species of five genera (i.e. Babcockia, Sventenia, Taeckholmia, Lactucosonchus, Prenanthes), and is restricted primarily to the archipelago of the Canaries in the Macaronesian phytogeographical region. An enzyme electrophoretic study, including 13 loci, was conducted to assess genetic diversity within and divergence among species of the alliance. Nei's genetic identities (distances) between genera and/or subgenera range from 0.490 (0.714) to 0.980 (0.013), and pairwise comparisons of all populations show relatively high genetic identities, with a mean of 0.804. The high identities further support the genetic cohesiveness of the alliance and its single origin on the Macaronesian islands. Species in the alliance also show about 50% higher total genetic diversity (H(T)) than the mean for other oceanic endemics. There is greater divergence between endemics or species on older islands compared to those on younger islands, which suggests that time is a factor for divergence at allozyme loci. Furthermore, populations on older islands have higher total genetic diversities and lower identities than conspecific populations on younger islands. These results imply early colonization, radiation, and divergence of the woody Sonchus alliance on older islands followed by subsequent colonization to younger islands. The taxonomic distribution of alleles in the alliance indicates lineage sorting also played a role in divergence among species. Lineage sorting may also produce nonconcordance with either taxonomic designation or the pattern of variation obtained from other molecular markers such as ITS sequences of nrDNA. Timing for the origin and radiation of the alliance agrees with the estimate based on ITS sequences, and suggests that the early divergence and rapid radiation took place during the Late Tertiary on either Gran Canaria or Tenerife.

publication date

  • January 1, 1999

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 101

end page

  • 118


  • 215


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