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BACKGROUND: With an ever-growing number of published genomes, many low levels of the Tree of Life now contain several species with enough molecular data to perform shallow-scale phylogenomic studies. Moving away from using just a few universal phylogenetic markers, we can now target thousands of other loci to decipher taxa relationships. Making the best possible selection of informative sequences regarding the taxa studied has emerged as a new issue. Here, we developed a general procedure to mine genomic data, looking for orthologous single-copy loci capable of deciphering phylogenetic relationships below the generic rank. To develop our strategy, we chose the genus Rosa, a rapid-evolving lineage of the Rosaceae family in which several species genomes have recently been sequenced. We also compared our loci to conventional plastid markers, commonly used for phylogenetic inference in this genus.
RESULTS: We generated 1856 sequence tags in putative single-copy orthologous nuclear loci. Associated in silico primer pairs can potentially amplify fragments able to resolve a wide range of speciation events within the genus Rosa. Analysis of parsimony-informative site content showed the value of non-coding genomic regions to obtain variable sequences despite the fact that they may be more difficult to target in less related species. Dozens of nuclear loci outperform the conventional plastid phylogenetic markers in terms of phylogenetic informativeness, for both recent and ancient evolutionary divergences. However, conflicting phylogenetic signals were found between nuclear gene tree topologies and the species-tree topology, shedding light on the many patterns of hybridization and/or incomplete lineage sorting that occur in the genus Rosa.
CONCLUSIONS: With recently published genome sequence data, we developed a set of single-copy orthologous nuclear loci to resolve species-level phylogenomics in the genus Rosa. This genome-wide scale dataset contains hundreds of highly variable loci which phylogenetic interest was assessed in terms of phylogenetic informativeness and topological conflict. Our target identification procedure can easily be reproduced to identify new highly informative loci for other taxonomic groups and ranks.
Ruttink, T., Cnops, G., De Campeneere, S., De Loose, M., Debode, J., Goossens, K., Haegeman, A., Heyndrickx, M., Muylle, H., Peiren, N., Rasschaert, G., Robbens, J., Roldán-Ruiz, I., Taverniers, I., Van Coillie, E., Van Glabeke, S., Vandaele, L., De Tender, C., Devriese, L., De Mulder, T., Verwimp, C., Veeckman, E. & Maes, M.
1/10/13 → 31/08/19