Eurasian origin of Alismatidae inferred from statistical dispersal-vicariance analysis

Ling Yun Chen, Jin Ming Chen, Robert Wahiti Gituru, Qing Feng Wang

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7 Scopus citations


Alismatidae is a wetland or aquatic herb lineage of monocots with a cosmopolitan distribution. Although considerable progress in systematics and biogeography has been made in the past several decades, geographical origin of this group remains unresolved. In this study, we used statistical dispersal-vicariance analysis implemented in program RASP to investigate the biogeography of Alismatidae. Six areas of endemism were used to describe the distribution: North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia. 18,000 trees retained from Bayesian inference of rbcL served as a framework to reconstruct the ancestral areas. The results suggested that the most recent common ancestor of Alismatidae most probably occurred in Eurasia, followed by a split into two major clades. The clade comprising Hydrocharitaceae, Butomaceae and Alismataceae mainly diversified in Eurasia and Africa. The other clade comprising the remaining families dispersed to southern hemisphere. Australia played an important role in diversification of this clade. Several families were suggested to have occurred in Australia, such as Ruppiaceae, Cymodoceaceae, Posidoniaceae and Zosteraceae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-42
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Can Dai for revising this manuscript. We thank Kuo Liao, Yong-Qing Zhu, Shu-Ying Zhao and Suman Neupane for their comments on this manuscript. We appreciate two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions to improve the manuscript. We appreciate Susanne S. Renner for suggestion on the title of this manuscript. We appreciate Laszlo Csiba for providing the DNA samples of Butomopsis latifolia. This work was supported by grants from One Hundred Person Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences ( KSCX2-YW-Z-0805 ), National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 30970202 ) and Strategic Pilot Science and Technology Projects of the Chinese Academy of Sciences ( XDAO5090305 ).


  • Alismatidae
  • Biogeography
  • Dispersal
  • Phylogeny


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