J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (6): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00087.x

• Research Articles •    

Phylogeny and Biogeography of Thuja L. (Cupressaceae), an Eastern Asian and North American Disjunct Genus

Jian-Hua LI and Qiao-Ping XIANG   

Abstract: In order to develop better insights into biogeographic patterns of eastern Asian and North American disjunct plant genera, sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (nr DNA ITS) region were used to estimate interspecific relationships of Thuja L. (Cupressaceae) and infer its biogeography based on the phylogeny. According to the phylogenetic analysis, two clades were recognized. The first clade included Thuja plicata D. Don (western North America) and T. koraiensis Nakai (northeastern Asia), and the second one contained T. occidentalis (Gord.) Carr. (Japan). The ancestral area of Thuja was inferred to be eastern Asia, and two dispersal events were responsible for the modern distribution of Thuja in North America. Both the North Atlantic land bridge and Bering land bridge were possible routes for the migration of ancestral populations to North America.

Key words: biogeography, Cupressaceae, Thuja, nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer, phylogeny

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