Understanding the relationship between domesticated crop species and their wild relatives is paramount to germplasm maintenance and the utilization of wild relatives in breeding programs. Recently, Gossypium ekmanianum was resurrected as an independent species based on morphological analysis of specimens obtained from the Dominican Republic, where the original type specimen was collected. The molecular data presented here support the recognition of G. ekmanianum Wittmack as a distinct species that is phylogenetically close to G. hirsutum L. Analyses of chloroplast DNA data reveal species-specific, indel polymorphisms that unambiguously distinguish G. ekmanianum samples from other polyploid congeners. Furthermore, analysis of accessions that originated from the Dominican Republic demonstrate the cryptic inclusion of this sister taxon within the US National Plant Germplasm System, a germplasm collection maintained for diversity preservation and future breeding resources. The data presented here indicate that “wild” G. hirsutum accessions may include the closely related G. ekmanianum, and provide a method to easily distinguish the two.

Evolutionary radiations are prominent and pervasive across many plant lineages in diverse geographical and ecological settings; in neotropical rainforests there is growing evidence suggesting that a significant fraction of species richness is the result of recent radiations. Understanding the evolutionary trajectories and mechanisms underlying these radiations demands much greater phylogenetic resolution than is currently available for these groups. The neotropical tree genus Inga (Leguminosae) is a good example, with ~300 extant species and a crown age of 2-10 MY, yet over 6kb of plastid and nuclear DNA sequence data gives only poor phylogenetic resolution among species. Here we explore the use of larger-scale nuclear gene data obtained though targeted enrichment to increase phylogenetic resolution within Inga. Transcriptome data from three Inga species were used to select 264 nuclear loci for targeted enrichment and sequencing. Following quality control to remove probable paralogs from these sequence data, the final dataset comprised 259,313 bases from 194 loci for 24 accessions representing 22 Inga species and an outgroup (Zygia). Bayesian phylogenies reconstructed using either all loci concatenated or a subset of 60 loci in a gene-tree/species-tree approach yielded highly resolved phylogenies. We used coalescent approaches to show that the same targeted enrichment data also have significant power to discriminate among alternative within-species population histories in the widespread species I. umbellifera. In either application, targeted enrichment simplifies the informatics challenge of identifying orthologous loci associated with de novo genome sequencing. We conclude that targeted enrichment provides the large volumes of phylogenetically-informative sequence data required to resolve relationships within recent plant species radiations, both at the species level and for within-species phylogeographic studies.