Phylogenetic analysis of chloroplast restriction enzyme site mutations in the Saccharinae Griseb. subtribe of the Andropogoneae Dumort. tribe

B. W S Sobral, D. P V Braga, E. S. LaHood, Paul S Keim

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Chloroplast (cp) DNA from 32 genotypes representing eight genera and 19 species from the Andropogoneae tribe was analyzed using 15 restriction enzymes and Southern hybridization with 12 cpDNA probes that span the complete rice chloroplast genome. Six of the genera, Saccharum, Miscanthus, Erianthus, Narenga, Eccoilopus, and Sclerostachya, are part of the Saccharinae subtribe, whereas the other two, Zea and Sorghum, were used as outgroups. Narenga, Miscanthus, Erianthus, and Sclerostachya are presumed to have been involved in the evolution of Saccharum officinarum (“noble” or high sucrose sugarcane) via S. spontaneum and S. robustum. Southern hybridization with the rice cpDNA probes surveyed approximately 3% of the S. officinarum ‘Black Cheribon’ genome and yielded 62 restriction site mutations (18 informative) that were analyzed using cladistic parsimony and maximum likelihood. These site mutations placed the 32 genotypes into nine different chloroplast groups; seven from within the Saccharinae subtribe and the two outgroups (maize and Sorghum). Phylogenetic inferrence under various assumptions showed that the maternal lineages of Narenga, Miscanthus, Sclerostachya, and Saccharum formed a monophyletic group. This group displayed little variation. On the other hand, 5 of 6 Erianthus species and Eccoilopus longisetosus formed a separate group. The ‘Old World’ Erianthus/Eccoilopus chloroplast was very different from that of the rest of the ‘Saccharum complex’ members and was slightly more related to that of Sorghum bicolor. Placement of these Erianthus/Eccoilopus genotypes was, therefore, in conflict with analyses based on morphology. Surprisingly, Erianthus trinii, a New World species, had the same restriction sites as did one Miscanthus sinensis. One Miscanthus sp. from New Guinea that has a very high chromosome number (2n=192) had the same restriction sites as the majority of the Saccharum genus, suggesting that introgression between these genera occurs in the wild. The Saccharum genus was separated into two clades by single site mutation: one containing S. spontaneum, and the other containing all of the remaining Saccharum species and all 8 commerical hybrids (from various regions of the world). A physical map of the chloroplast of Saccharum officinarum ‘Black Cheribon’ was constructed using 5 restriction enzymes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-853
Number of pages11
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics: International Journal of Plant Breeding Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 1994


  • Cladistics
  • Cytoplasmic inheritance
  • Dollo parsimony
  • Evolution
  • Maximum likelihood
  • Parsimony
  • Restriction mapping
  • Saccharm
  • Saccharum complex
  • Sugarcane
  • Wagner parsiomony

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biotechnology


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