Phylogeny, molecular dating and floral evolution of Magnoliidae (Angiospermae)

Abstract : Deep phylogenetic relationships in the angiosperms had long been uncertain. However, by the end of the 1990s, large-scale studies contributed to the current well resolved picture of the tree of flowering plants, in which eudicots, monocots, and magnoliids are the three largest clades. Whereas monocots and eudicots have been recognized since the very first phylogenetic analyses, the monophyly of magnoliids (Canellales, Laurales, Magnoliales, and Piperales) is a more recent result. Magnoliidae, as now circumscribed, consist of 20 families and ca. 10,000 species mostly distributed in the tropics. Before the present thesis, several parts of the magnoliid tree had been well studied, but little was known about the evolutionary history of Magnoliidae as a whole. The first chapter of this thesis is a phylogenetic study conducted to clarify the relationships among families and orders of Magnoliidae. To do so, I sampled 199 species of Magnoliidae and 12 molecular markers from the three genomes and conducted phylogenetic analyses using parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods. The results confirm, with a greater level of support, two clades in Magnoliidae: Canellale + Piperales, and Laurales + Magnoliales. In addition, the relationships among the 20 families are generally well supported, and Lactoridaceae and Hydnoraceae are nested within Aristolochiaceae (Piperales). In the second chapter, the ages and phylogenetic positions of 10 fossils attributed to Magnoliidae were reviewed in detail. The goal of this study was to provide new reliable calibration points in order to conduct molecular dating analyses. These fossils were selected from the rich fossil record of the group because of their previous inclusion in phylogenetic analyses with extant taxa. The resulting calibration scheme provides six solid, internal minimum age constraints. The third chapter includes molecular dating analyses using the present calibration scheme and the same molecular dataset of Chapter 1. This study tends to push back in time the ages of the crown nodes of Magnoliidae (127.1-198.9 Ma), and of the four orders, Canellales (126.3-141.0 Ma), Piperales (88.2-157.7 Ma), Laurales (111.8-165.6 Ma), and Magnoliales (115.0-164.2 Ma). In the same chapter, I investigated the mode of diversification in the group. The strongly imbalanced distribution of species appears to be best explained by models of diversification with 6 to 14 diversification rate shifts. Finally, in the last chapter, I traced the evolution of 26 floral characters to reconstruct the ancestral flowers in key nodes of Magnoliidae. I used the phylogeny of Chapter 1 and an exemplar approach. Our results show that the most recent common ancestor of all Magnoliidae was a tree bearing actinomorphic, bisexual flowers with a differentiated perianth of two alternate, trimerous whorls of free perianth parts (outer and inner tepals) and probably three free stamens. This work provides key results on the evolution of Magnoliidae and raises several new questions such as the impact of geological crises on diversification of the group or the influence of pollinators and the environment on the evolution of floral morphology.
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Julien Massoni. Phylogeny, molecular dating and floral evolution of Magnoliidae (Angiospermae). Vegetal Biology. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014PA112058⟩. ⟨tel-01044699⟩

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