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Genome-wide repeat dynamics reflect phylogenetic distance in closely related allotetraploid Nicotiana (Solanaceae)Nicotiana sect. Repandae is a group of four allotetraploid species originating from a single allopolyploidisation event approximately 5 million years ago. Previous phylogenetic analyses support the hypothesis of N. nudicaulis as sister to the other three species. This is concordant with changes in genome size, separating those with genome downsizing (N. nudicaulis) from those with genome upsizing (N. repanda, N. nesophila, N. stocktonii). However, a recent analysis reflecting genome dynamics of different transposable element families reconstructed greater similarity between N. nudicaulis and the Revillagigedo Island taxa (N. nesophila and N. stocktonii), thereby placing N. repanda as sister to the rest of the group. This could reflect a different phylogenetic hypothesis or the unique evolutionary history of these particular elements. Here we re-examine relationships in this group and investigate genome-wide patterns in repetitive DNA, utilising high-throughput sequencing and a genome skimming approach. Repetitive DNA clusters provide support for N. nudicaulis as sister to the rest of the section, with N. repanda sister to the two Revillagigedo Island species. Clade-specific patterns in the occurrence and abundance of particular repeats confirm the original (N. nudicaulis (N. repanda (N. nesophila ? N. stocktonii))) hypothesis. Furthermore, overall repeat dynamics in the island species N. nesophila and N. stocktonii confirm their similarity to N. repanda and the distinctive patterns between these three species and N. nudicaulis. Together these results suggest that broad-scale repeat dynamics do in fact reflect evolutionary history and could be predicted based on phylogenetic distance.
Potential of herbariomics for studying repetitive DNA in angiospermsRepetitive DNA has an important role in angiosperm genomes and is relevant to our understanding of genome size variation, polyploidisation and genome dynamics more broadly. Much recent work has harnessed the power of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies to advance the study of repetitive DNA in flowering plants. Herbarium collections provide a useful historical perspective on genome diversity through time, but their value for the study of repetitive DNA has not yet been explored. We propose that herbarium DNA may prove as useful for studies of repetitive DNA content as it has for reconstructed organellar genomes and low-copy nuclear sequence data. Here we present a case study in the tobacco genus (Nicotiana; Solanaceae), showing that herbarium specimens can provide accurate estimates of the repetitive content of angiosperm genomes by direct comparison with recently-collected material. We show a strong correlation between the abundance of repeat clusters, e.g., different types of transposable elements and satellite DNA, in herbarium collections versus recent material for four sets of Nicotiana taxa. These results suggest that herbarium specimen genome sequencing (herbariomics) holds promise for both repeat discovery and analyses that aim to investigate the role of repetitive DNAs in genomic evolution, particularly genome size evolution and/or contributions of repeats to the regulation of gene space.
Time-calibrated phylogenetic trees establish a lag between polyploidisation and diversification in Nicotiana (Solanaceae)We investigate the timing of diversification in allopolyploids of Nicotiana (Solanaceae) utilising sequence data of maternal and paternal origin to look for evidence of a lag phase during which diploidisation took place. Bayesian relaxed clock phylogenetic methods show recent allopolyploids are a result of several unique polyploidisation events, and older allopolyploid sections have undergone subsequent speciation at the polyploid level (i.e. a number of these polyploid species share a singular origin). The independently formed recent polyploid species in the genus all have mean age estimates below 1 million years ago (Ma). Nicotiana section Polydicliae (two species) evolved 1.5 Ma, N. section Repandae (four species) formed 4 Ma, and N. section Suaveolentes (*35 species) is about 6 million years old. A general trend of higher speciation rates in older polyploids is evident, but diversification dramatically increases at approximately 6 Ma (in section Suaveolentes). Nicotiana sect. Suaveolentes has spectacularly radiated to form 35 species in Australia and some Pacific islands following a lag phase of almost 6 million years. Species have filled new ecological niches and undergone extensive diploidisation (e.g. chromosome fusions bringing the ancestral allotetraploid number, n = 24, down to n = 15 and ribosomal loci numbers back to diploid condition). Considering the progenitors of Suaveolentes inhabit South America, this represents the colonisation of Australia by polyploids that have subsequently undergone a recent radiation into new environments. To our knowledge, this study is the first report of a substantial lag phase being investigated below the family level.