Sage Insights Into the Phylogeny of Salvia: Dealing With Sources of Discordance Within and Across Genomes

Jeffrey P. Rose, Ricardo Kriebel, Larissa Kahan, Alexa DiNicola, Jesús G. González-Gallegos, Ferhat Celep, Emily M. Lemmon, Alan R. Lemmon, Kenneth J. Sytsma, Bryan T. Drew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Next-generation sequencing technologies have facilitated new phylogenomic approaches to help clarify previously intractable relationships while simultaneously highlighting the pervasive nature of incongruence within and among genomes that can complicate definitive taxonomic conclusions. Salvia L., with ∼1,000 species, makes up nearly 15% of the species diversity in the mint family and has attracted great interest from biologists across subdisciplines. Despite the great progress that has been achieved in discerning the placement of Salvia within Lamiaceae and in clarifying its infrageneric relationships through plastid, nuclear ribosomal, and nuclear single-copy genes, the incomplete resolution has left open major questions regarding the phylogenetic relationships among and within the subgenera, as well as to what extent the infrageneric relationships differ across genomes. We expanded a previously published anchored hybrid enrichment dataset of 35 exemplars of Salvia to 179 terminals. We also reconstructed nearly complete plastomes for these samples from off-target reads. We used these data to examine the concordance and discordance among the nuclear loci and between the nuclear and plastid genomes in detail, elucidating both broad-scale and species-level relationships within Salvia. We found that despite the widespread gene tree discordance, nuclear phylogenies reconstructed using concatenated, coalescent, and network-based approaches recover a common backbone topology. Moreover, all subgenera, except for Audibertia, are strongly supported as monophyletic in all analyses. The plastome genealogy is largely resolved and is congruent with the nuclear backbone. However, multiple analyses suggest that incomplete lineage sorting does not fully explain the gene tree discordance. Instead, horizontal gene flow has been important in both the deep and more recent history of Salvia. Our results provide a robust species tree of Salvia across phylogenetic scales and genomes. Future comparative analyses in the genus will need to account for the impacts of hybridization/introgression and incomplete lineage sorting in topology and divergence time estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number767478
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
StatePublished - Nov 24 2021


  • Lamiaceae
  • Robinson–Foulds distance
  • Salvia
  • anchored hybrid enrichment
  • cyto-nuclear discordance
  • distance metrics
  • incongruence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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