Insights into the Taxonomically Challenging Hexaploid Alpine Shrub Willows of Salix Sections Phylicifoliae and Nigricantes (Salicaceae)

2023 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Insights into the Taxonomically Challenging Hexaploid Alpine Shrub Willows of Salix Sections Phylicifoliae and Nigricantes (Salicaceae)​
Wagner, N. D.; Marinček, P.; Pittet, L. & Hörandl, E.​ (2023) 
Plants12(5) pp. 1144​.​ DOI: 

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Wagner, Natascha D.; Marinček, Pia; Pittet, Loïc; Hörandl, Elvira
The complex genomic composition of allopolyploid plants leads to morphologically diverse species. The traditional taxonomical treatment of the medium-sized, hexaploid shrub willows distributed in the Alps is difficult based on their variable morphological characters. In this study, RAD sequencing data, infrared-spectroscopy, and morphometric data are used to analyze the phylogenetic relationships of the hexaploid species of the sections Nigricantes and Phylicifoliae in a phylogenetic framework of 45 Eurasian Salix species. Both sections comprise local endemics as well as widespread species. Based on the molecular data, the described morphological species appeared as monophyletic lineages (except for S. phylicifolia s.str. and S. bicolor, which are intermingled). Both sections Phylicifoliae and Nigricantes are polyphyletic. Infrared-spectroscopy mostly confirmed the differentiation of hexaploid alpine species. The morphometric data confirmed the molecular results and supported the inclusion of S. bicolor into S. phylicifolia s.l., whereas the alpine endemic S. hegetschweileri is distinct and closely related to species of the section Nigricantes. The genomic structure and co-ancestry analyses of the hexaploid species revealed a geographical pattern for widespread S. myrsinifolia, separating the Scandinavian from the alpine populations. The newly described S. kaptarae is tetraploid and is grouped within S. cinerea. Our data reveal that both sections Phylicifoliae and Nigricantes need to be redefined.
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Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2023



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