Renata Piwowarczyk , 1 , Adam C. Schneider 1 , Grzegorz Góralski 3 , Dagmara Kwolek 3 , Magdalena Denysenko-Bennett 3 , Anna Burda 3 , Karolina Ruraż 1 , Andrzej J. Joachimiak 3 , Óscar Sánchez Pedraja 4
12 March 2021
The extensive diversity of the tribe Orobancheae, the most species-rich lineage of holoparasitic Orobanchaceae , is concentrated in the Caucasus and Mediterranean regions of the Old World. This extant diversity has inspired hypotheses that these regions are also centres of origin of its key lineages, however the ability to test hypotheses has been limited by a lack of sampling and phylogenetic information about the species, especially in the Caucasus region. First, we assessed the phylogenetic relationships of several poorly known, problematic, or newly described species and host-races of four genera of Orobancheae occurring in the Caucasus region– Cistanche , Phelypaea , Phelipanche and Orobanche –using nuclear ribosomal (ITS) and plastid ( trnL–trnF) sequence data. Then we applied a probablistic dispersal-extinction-cladogenesis model of historical biogeography across a more inclusive clade of holoparasites, to explicitly test hypotheses of Orobancheae diversification and historical biogeography shifts. In sum, we sampled 548 sequences (including 196 newly generated) from 13 genera, 140 species, and 175 taxa across 44 countries. We find that the Western Asia (particularly the Caucasus) and the Mediterranean are the centre of origin for large clades of holoparasitic Orobancheae within the last 6 million years. In the Caucasus, the centres of diversity are composed both of long-branch taxa and shallow, recently diversified clades, while Orobancheae diversity in the Mediterranean appears to represent mainly recent diversification.