Plastid phylogenomic insights into the evolution of the Caprifoliaceae s.l. (Dipsacales)


The family Caprifoliaceae s.l. is an asterid angiosperm clade of ca. 960 species, most of which are distributed in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. Recent studies show that the family comprises seven major clades: Linnaeoideae, Zabelia, Morinoideae, Dipsacoideae, Valerianoideae, Caprifolioideae, and Diervilloideae. However, its phylogeny at the subfamily or genus level remains controversial, and the backbone relationships among subfamilies are incompletely resolved. In this study, we utilized complete plastome sequencing to resolve the relationships among the subfamilies of the Caprifoliaceae s.l. and clarify several long-standing controversies. We generated and analyzed plastomes of 48 accessions of Caprifoliaceae s.l., representing 44 species, six subfamilies and one genus. Combined with available Caprifoliaceae s.l. plastomes on GenBank and 12 outgroups, we analyzed a final dataset of 68 accessions. Genome structure was strongly conserved in general, although the boundaries between the Inverted Repeat were found to have contracted across Caprifoliaceae s.l. to exclude rpl2, rps19, and ycf1, all or parts of which are typically present in the IR of most angiosperms. The ndhF gene was found to have been inverted in all plastomes of Adoxaceae. Phylogenomic analyses of 68 complete plastomes yielded a highly supported topology that strongly supported the monophyly of Zabelia and its sister relationship to Morinoideae. Moreover, a clade of Valerianoideae + Dipsacoideae was recovered as sister to a clade of Linnaeoideae + Zabelia + Morinoideae clade, and Heptacodium was sister to remaining Caprifolioideae. The Diervilloideae and Caprifolioideae were successively sister to all other Caprifoliaceae s.l. Major lineages of Caprifoliaceae s.l. were estimated to have diverged from the Upper Cretaceous to the Eocene (50–100 Ma), whereas within-genus diversification was dated to the Oligocene and later, concomitant with global cooling and drying. Our results demonstrate the power of plastid phylogenomics in improving estimates of phylogeny among genera and subfamilies, and provide new insights into plastome evolution across Caprifoliaceae s.l.



Publication Date


Publication Title

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution



Additional Department

Archaeological Studies

Document Type








This document is currently not available here.