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Plant Focus

Quercus macdougallii
A rare oak endemic to the Sierra Juárez in Oaxaca

The Oaks of Vietnam: Origin, Evolution and Genomic Diversity

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Joeri S. Strijk and Damien D. Hinsinger

Published May 2019 in International Oaks No. 30: 77–84


Over the past three years, significant progress has been made in understanding one of the world’s major biodiversity hotspots of oak species. Indochina, as a single geographic unit, holds the largest number of species and genera in Fagaceae in all of Asia, with Vietnam being home to well over 150 species alone (more than a third of which belong to Quercus). The upcoming new edition of the Flora of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam (projected completion date is the end of 2019) will be the first comprehensive regional treatment of oaks and related genera in over 70 years. Since the last treatment by Lecomte (1943), we have explored, described and categorized more systematically this region than ever before, making enormous progress in our global understanding of Quercus evolution, genomics, diversity and ecology. By combining phylogenomics, molecular dating and traditional taxonomy, we can now take a bird’s-eye view of this enormous diversity and begin to understand the diverse origins and unique evolutionary composition of the oaks of Vietnam.


Quercus, Vietnam, MIG-seq, phylogenomics, nuclear, plastome, sectional classification, genomic diversity, evolution


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Binh, H.T., N. Van Ngoc, T.N. Bon, S. Tagane, Y. Suyama, and T. Yahara. 2018b. A new species and two new records of Quercus (Fagaceae) from northern Vietnam. PhytoKeys 92: 1-15. 

Binh, H.T., N. Van Ngoc, S. Tagane, H. Toyama, K. Mase, C. Mitsuyuki, J.S. Strijk, Y. Suyama,  and T. Yahara. 2018c. A taxonomic study of Quercus langbianensis complex based on morphology and DNA barcodes of classic and next generation sequences. PhytoKeys 95: 37-70. 

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