, 130:19 | Cite as

Evolutionary patterns in the antR-Cor gene in the dwarf dogwood complex (Cornus, Cornaceae)

  • Chuanzhu Fan
  • Qiu-Yun (Jenny) Xiang
  • David L. Remington
  • Michael D. Purugganan
  • Brian M. Wiegmann
Original Paper


The evolutionary pattern of the myc-like anthocyanin regulatory gene antR-Cor was examined in the dwarf dogwood species complex (Cornus Subgenus Arctocrania) that contains two diploid species (C. canadensis and C. suecica), their putative hybrids with intermediate phenotypes, and a tetraploid derivative (C. unalaschkensis). Full-length sequences of this gene (∼4 kb) were sequenced and characterized for 47 dwarf dogwood samples representing all taxa categories from 43 sites in the Pacific Northwest. Analysis of nucleotide diversity indicated departures from neutral evolution, due most likely to local population structure. Neighbor-joining and haplotype network analyses show that sequences from the tetraploid and diploid intermediates are much more strongly diverged from C. suecica than from C. canadensis, and that the intermediate phenotypes may represent an ancestral group to C. canadensis rather than interspecific hybrids. Seven amino acid mutations that are potentially linked to myc-like anthocyanin regulatory gene function correlate with petal colors differences that characterize the divergence between two diploid species and the tetraploid species in this complex. The evidence provides a working hypothesis for testing the role of the gene in speciation and its link to the petal coloration. Sequencing and analysis of additional nuclear genes will be necessary to resolve questions about the evolution of the dwarf dogwood complex.


Cornus Gene evolution Hybridization Myc-like anthocyanin regulatory gene Nucleotide polymorphism Polyploid Speciation 



The authors thank the following people for their help with the study: Brian Cassel for assistance with sequencing; Jingen (Jim) Qi, Christian Brochmann, Margaret Ptacek, and Jean Schulenberg for plant sample collection; Nina Gardner for DNA extraction and morphological identification; members of the Xiang lab for a variety of help and discussion; Becky Boston for using her lab space in the experiments; and, Tom Wentworth and two anonymous reviewers for critically reading the manuscript. This study is supported by Faculty Research Grants from Idaho State University and North Carolina State University and NSF grant DEB-0129069 to Q.-Y.X., and Karling Graduate Student Research Award from Botanical Society of America and Deep Gene Travel Award from Deep Gene Research Coordination Network (NSF DEB-0090227 funded to B. D. Mishler) to C.F.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuanzhu Fan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qiu-Yun (Jenny) Xiang
    • 1
  • David L. Remington
    • 3
  • Michael D. Purugganan
    • 4
  • Brian M. Wiegmann
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of BotanyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and EvolutionUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  4. 4.Department of GeneticsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  5. 5.Department of EntomologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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