Campus Units

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

Document Type


Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Journal of Integrative Plant Biology




Previous research suggests that Gossypium has undergone a 5- to 6-fold multiplication following its divergence from Theobroma. However, the number of events, or where they occurred in the Malvaceae phylogeny remains unknown. We analyzed transcriptomic and genomic data from representatives of eight of the nine Malvaceae subfamilies. Phylogenetic analysis of nuclear data placed Dombeya (Dombeyoideae) as sister to the rest of Malvadendrina clade, but the plastid DNA tree strongly supported Durio (Helicteroideae) in this position. Intraspecific Ks plots indicated that all sampled taxa, except Theobroma (Byttnerioideae), Corchorus (Grewioideae), and Dombeya (Dombeyoideae), have experienced whole genome multiplications (WGMs). Quartet analysis suggested WGMs were shared by Malvoideae-Bombacoideae and Sterculioideae-Tilioideae, but did not resolve whether these are shared with each other or Helicteroideae (Durio). Gene tree reconciliation and Bayesian concordance analysis suggested a complex history. Alternative hypotheses are suggested, each involving two independent autotetraploid and one allopolyploid event. They differ in that one entails an allopolyploid origin for the Durio lineage, whereas the other invokes an allopolyploid origin for Malvoideae-Bombacoideae. We highlight the need for more genomic information in the Malvaceae and improved methods to resolve complex evolutionary histories that may include allopolyploidy, incomplete lineage sorting, and variable rates of gene and genome evolution.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Conover, Justin L., Nisa Karimi, Noah Stenz, Cécile Ané, Corrinne E. Grover, C. Skema, Jennifer A. Tate et al. "A Malvaceae mystery: A mallow maelstrom of genome multiplications and maybe misleading methods?." Journal of Integrative Plant Biology (2018), which has been published in final form at doi: 10.1111/jipb.12746. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Copyright Owner

Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences



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Published Version