Role of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau uplift in the Northern Hemisphere disjunction: Evidence from two herbaceous genera of Rubiaceae

Tao Deng, Jian Wen Zhang, Ying Meng, Sergei Volis, Hang Sun, Ze Long Nie

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10 Scopus citations

Abstract

To assess the role of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau uplift in shaping the intercontinental disjunction in Northern Hemisphere, we analyzed the origin and diversification within a geological timeframe for two relict herbaceous genera, Theligonum and Kelloggia (Rubiaceae). Phylogenetic relationships within and between Theligonum and Kelloggia as well as their relatives were inferred using five chloroplast markers with parsimony, Bayesian and maximum-likelihood approaches. Migration routes and evolution of these taxa were reconstructed using Bayesian relaxed molecular clock and ancestral area reconstruction. Our results suggest the monophyly of each Theligonum and Kelloggia. Eastern Asian and North American species of Kelloggia diverged at ca.18.52 Mya and the Mediterranean species of Theligonum diverged from eastern Asian taxa at ca.13.73 Mya. Both Kelloggia and Theligonum are Tethyan flora relicts, and their ancestors might have been occurred in warm tropical to subtropical environments along the Tethys coast. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau separated the eastern and western Tethyan area may contribute significantly to the disjunct distributions of Theligonum, and the North Atlantic migration appears to be the most likely pathway of expansion of Kelloggia to North America. Our results highlight the importance role of the QTP uplift together with corresponding geological and climatic events in shaping biodiversity and biogeographic distribution in the Northern Hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13411
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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