The Compositae Tree of Life in the age of phylogenomics
Comprising more than 25 000 species, the Sunflower Family (Compositae or Asteraceae) is the largest family of flowering plants. Many of its lineages have experienced recent and rapid radiations, and the family has a deep and widespread history of large-scale gene duplications and polyploidy. Many of the most important evolutionary questions about the family's diversity remain unanswered due to poor resolution and lack of support for major nodes of the phylogeny. Our group has employed a phylogenomics approach using Hyb-Seq that includes sequencing ∼1000 low-copy number nuclear markers, plus partial plastomes for large numbers of species. Here we discuss our progress to date and present two phylogenies comprising nine subfamilies and 25 tribes using concatenated and coalescence-based analyses. We discuss future plans for incorporating high-quality reference genomes and transcriptomes to advance systematic and evolutionary studies in the Compositae. While we have made great strides toward developing tools for employing phylogenomics and resolving relationships within Compositae, much work remains. Recently formed global partnerships will work to solve the unanswered evolutionary questions for this megafamily.
Journal of Systematics and Evolution
Mandel, J., Barker, M., Bayer, R., & Dikow, R. (2017). The Compositae Tree of Life in the age of phylogenomics. Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 55 (4), 405-410. https://doi.org/10.1111/jse.12265