Data from: Phylogeography of the arid shrub Atraphaxis frutescens (Polygonaceae) in northwestern China: evidence from cpDNA sequences
Xu, Zhe; Zhang, Ming-Li (2014), Data from: Phylogeography of the arid shrub Atraphaxis frutescens (Polygonaceae) in northwestern China: evidence from cpDNA sequences, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bt6h5
Climatic fluctuations during the Pleistocene are usually considered as a significant factor in shaping intraspecific genetic variation and influencing demographic histories. To well-understand these processes in desert northwest China, we selected arid adapted Atraphaxis frutescens as the study species. Two cpDNA regions (psbK-psbI, psbB-psbH) were sequenced in 272 individuals from 33 natural populations across the range of this shrub, and 10 haplotypes were identified. It was found to contain high levels of total gene diversity (H T = 0.858), and low levels of within-population diversity (H S = 0.092). Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicates that genetic differentiation primarily occurs among groups of populations. Based on BEAST (Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis Sampling Trees) analysis, we suggest that intraspecific differentiation of the species, resulting from isolated populations, accompanied enhanced desertification during the middle and late Pleistocene. The expansion of the Gurbantunggut and Kumtag deserts in this area appears to have triggered divergence among populations of the western, central, and eastern portions of the region and shaped genetic differentiation among them. Two possible independent glacial refugia were predicted, the Ili Valley and the northern Junggar Basin. Extensive development of arid habitats (desert margin and arid piedmont grassland) coupled with a more equable climate because the early Holocene are factors likely to have generated recent expansion of A. frutescens.