Data from: Speciation of two desert poplar species triggered by Pleistocene climatic oscillations
Wang, Juan et al. (2013), Data from: Speciation of two desert poplar species triggered by Pleistocene climatic oscillations, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.k70h6
Despite the evidence that the Pleistocene climatic fluctuations have seriously affected the distribution of intraspecific diversity, less is known on its impact on interspecific divergence. In this study, we aimed to test the hypothesis that the divergence of two desert poplar species Populus euphratica Oliv. and P. pruinosa Schrenk. occurred during the Pleistocene. We sequenced 11 nuclear loci in 60 individuals from the two species to estimate the divergence time between them and to test whether gene flow occurred after species separation. Divergence time between the two species was estimated to be 0.66–1.37 million years ago (Ma), a time at which glaciation was at its maximum in China and deserts developed widely in central Asia. Isolation-with-Migration model also indicated that the two species had diverged in the presence of gene flow. We also detected evidence of selection at GO in P. euphratica and to a lesser extent at PhyB2. Together, these results underscore the importance of Pleistocene climate oscillations in triggering plant speciation as a result of habitats divergence.