SSK-AFLP®-Project 2007 (Fingerprint Analysis, Part II)

Within AFLP® II we extend the scale of our analysis in order to find an answer to the central questions of the AFLP® project:

  1. It is possible to separate the genera Sulcorebutia, Weingartia and Cintia from each other?
  2. Are morphological characters and genetic data compatible?
  3. Do we find a geographic pattern within the data that may allow us to reconstruct the evolution and the dispersal history of the complex?

This molecular phylogenetic investigation was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Christiane Ritz of the Justus-Liebig University Giessen and financed by the members of the SSK. The extensive analyses of the data with different programs were completed in March 2009. The results were presented to an international audience on the 8th IOS Inter-Congress in May 2009 in Bonn and on the Congress of the German Botanic Society in September 2009 in Leipzig. The following data have not been published so far but are currently prepared for a publication in a scientific journal.

Preliminary results

In the course of this study 150 individuals of Cintia, Sulcorebutia and Weingartia have been analyzed using a genome-wide fingerprinting method (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism- AFLP®). For a subset of taxa two non-coding chloroplast markers were sequenced.

Confirming our previous analyses (Ritz et al. 2007) Cintia, Sulcorebutia and Weingartia form a well supported monophyletic group sister to Rebutia minuscula. Samples of Sulcorebutia and Weingartia were intermingled with each other in analyses based on both data sets. However, phylogenetic reconstructions match in most cases the geographical distribution of investigated taxa.
We could define several well supported clades within the investigated species. Three of these clades are congruent between both data sets, but for two clades nuclear data (AFLP®s) contradict the phylogenetic reconstructions based on chloroplast sequences.

A) Congruent clades

1. "steinbachii" clade

This clade was well supported by both data sets and includes species from the northern part of the distribution area. It includes for examples. (S. steinbachii, S. markusii, S. mariana, S. tiraquensis, S. krahnii and S. oenantha). However, the position of S. breviflora and S. dorana differs between both data sets.

2. "verticillacantha" clade

Species of this clade are distributed in the north-western part of the area (e.g. S. verticillacantha, S. vasqueziana, S. fischeriana und S. cuprea).

3. "tarijensis" clade

The relationship between these species distributed in the south of the area is indicated by both data sets (e.g S. camargoensis, S. tarijensis, C. knizei).

B) Incongruent clades

4. "canigueralii" clade and

5. "mentosa" clade

Species of the "canigueralii" clade (e.g. S. canigueralii, S. rauschii, S. gemmae, W. neocumingii) form a well-supported clade in the chloroplast phylogeny. However, AFLP® data assigned these species to different clusters. We observed the same incongruency between the data sets for the "mentosa" clade (e.g. S. mentosa, S. purpurea, S. santiginiensis, S. albissima, S. cylindrica). Species of both clades are distributed intermingled with each other in the centre of the range. We hypothesize that hybridization events have played a major role in the evolution of these species. We are planning further analyses to test this hypothesis.


Weingartia breviflora Weingartia breviflora Weingartia juckeri Weingartia juckeri Weingartia frankiana Weingartia frankiana

Weingartia breviflora

Weingartia juckeri

Weingartia frankiana

All photos on this Website © Ingrid&Rainer Mecklenburg

Weingartia tarabucoensis var. callecallensis Weingartia tarabucoensis var. callecallensis Weingartia spec. Quiroga Weingartia spec. Quiroga Weingartia neuocumingii ssp pulquinensis Weingartia neuocumingii ssp. pulquinensis

Weingartia tarabucoensis var. callecallensis

Weingartia spec. Quiroga

Weingartia neuocumingii ssp. pulquinensis

During our AFLP analyses in 2008, Cintia, Sulcorebutia, and Weingartia were merged into one genus Weingartia. Hence, we use the nomenclature in Augustin and Hentzschel (2002) AUGUSTIN, K. und G. HENTZSCHEL. 2002. Die Gattung Weingartia Werdermann. Gymnocalycium 15: 453-472. for Weingartia (old). For Cintia and Sulcorebutia we appy the recombinations in Hentzschel and Augustin (2008)Hentzschel G. & K. Augustin. 2008: Weingartia, Sulcorebutia und Cintia - eine untrennbare Einheit - Merkmalsvergleiche und Neukombinationen. Gymnocalycium 21(2): 767-782.. See note "Sulcorebutia is dead, viva Weingartia!" in SSK news 15/05/2008.

Voucher specimens are deposited in the succulent collection of the Botanic Garden of the University of Jena. Plants were collected as seeds from the original locations and grown in greenhouses of members of SSK according to the CITES instructions.

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