Musaceae is an economically important family consisting of 70-80 species. Elucidation of the interspecific relationships of this family is essential for a more efficient conservation and utilization of genetic resources for banana improvement. However, the scarcity of herbarium specimens and quality molecular markers have limited our understanding of the phylogenetic relationships in wild species of Musaceae. Aiming at improving the phylogenetic resolution of Musaceae, we analyzed a comprehensive set of 49 plastomes for 48 species/subspecies representing all three genera of this family.

Musaceae plastomes have a relatively well-conserved genomic size and gene content, with a full length ranging from 166,782 bp to 172,514 bp. Variations in the IR borders were found to show phylogenetic signals to a certain extent in Musa. Codon usage bias analysis showed different preferences for the same codon between species and three genera and a common preference for A/T-ending codons. Among the two genes detected under positive selection (dN/dS > 1), ycf2 was indicated under an intensive positive selection. The divergent hotspot analysis allowed the identification of four regions (ndhF-trnL, ndhF, matK-rps16, and accD) as specific DNA barcodes for Musaceae species. Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses using full plastome resulted in nearly identical tree topologies with highly supported relationships between species. The monospecies genus Musella is sister to Ensete, and the genus Musa was divided into two large clades, which corresponded well to the basic number of n = x = 11 and n = x =10/9/7, respectively. Four subclades were divided within the genus Musa. A dating analysis covering the whole Zingiberales indicated that the divergence of Musaceae family originated in the Palaeocene (59.19 Ma), and the genus Musa diverged into two clades in the Eocene (50.70 Ma) and then started to diversify from the late Oligocene (29.92 Ma) to the late Miocene. Two lineages (Rhodochlamys and Australimusa) radiated recently in the Pliocene /Pleistocene periods.

The plastome sequences performed well in resolving the phylogenetic relationships of Musaceae and generated new insights into its evolution. Plastome sequences provided valuable resources for population genetics and phylogenetics at lower taxon.

Publication Date
21 March 2022
Cross Reference
PMIDLoading content
Fu N, Ji M, Rouard M, Yan HF, Ge XJ. Comparative plastome analysis of Musaceae and new insights into phylogenetic relationships.. BMC genomics. 2022 Mar 21; 23(1):223.