Phylogenomics reveals a complex evolutionary history of lobed-leaf white oaks in western North America.
Species within the genus Quercus (oak) hybridize in complex patterns that have yet to be fully explored with phylogenomic data. Analyses to date have recovered reasonable divergent patterns, suggesting that the impact of introgression may not always be obvious in inferred oak phylogenies. We explore this phenomenon using RADseq data for 136 samples representing 54 oak species by conducting phylogenetic analyses designed to distinguish signals of lineage diversification and hybridization, focusing on the lobed-leaf species Quercus gambelii, Q. lobata, and Q. garryana in the context of a broad sampling of allied white oaks (Quercus section Quercus), and particularly the midwestern Q. macrocarpa. We demonstrate that historical introgressive hybridization between once sympatric species affects phylogeny estimation. Historical range expansion during periods of favorable climate likely explains our observations; analyses support genetic exchange between ancestral populations of Q. gambelii and Q. macrocarpa. We conclude that the genomic consequences of introgression caused the attraction of distant lineages in phylogenetic tree space, and that introgressive and divergent signals can be disentangled to produce a robust estimate of the phylogenetic history of the species.
McVay, JD; Hauser, D; Hipp, AL; Manos, PS
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