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Testing hypotheses of hybrid taxon formation in the shrubby beardtongues (Penstemon subgenus Dasanthera)

Citation

Stone, Benjamin; Rodríguez-Peña, Rosa; Wolfe, Andrea (2022), Testing hypotheses of hybrid taxon formation in the shrubby beardtongues (Penstemon subgenus Dasanthera), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b2rbnzsjr

Abstract

Premise

Hybridization is increasingly being identified in the genomes of species across the tree of life. This has led to a general recognition that hybridization plays an important role in the generation of species diversity. While hybridization may increase species diversity directly via the formation of new taxa through hybrid speciation, it may also act indirectly via the exchange of phenotypic and genetic variance between species, which may in turn stimulate future speciation events.

 

Methods

Using high-throughput sequence data, we resolve phylogenetic relationships and investigate the role of hybridization as a diversification mechanism in the shrubby beardtongues (Penstemon subgenus Dasanthera), a group of North American wildflowers that has undergone a recent and rapid adaptive radiation. Specifically, we test four hypotheses of hybrid taxon formation resulting from hybridization between P. davidsonii and P. fruticosus.

 

Key Results

Species tree inference supports the monophyly of subgenus Dasanthera and elucidates relationships between taxa distributed in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada Mountains. Results also provide evidence of gene flow between P. davidsonii and P. fruticosus and support at least one hybrid origin hypothesis (P. davidsonii var. menziesii) in a region of contemporary distributional overlap. Hybridization may have also been facilitated by historical overlap in geographic distribution caused by species’ responses to climatic changes during the Pleistocene.

 

Conclusions

Our results support a history of hybridization between focal taxa in a rapidly radiating clade of plants and more broadly contribute to our growing understanding of the role of hybridization as a diversification mechanism in plants.

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1455399