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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Specht, Chelsea [1], Sass, Chodon [2], Xue, Joyce Jiao [1], Fraley, Sara [1], Kress, John [3].

Evolution of Tropical Heliconia: Ecological and Spatial Diversification at the Species Level.

The family Heliconiaceae (heliconias) comprises approximately 215 species in the single genus Heliconia, distributed primarily in the neotropics. While heliconias are grown as tropical ornamentals throughout the world, their native range extends from central Mexico to central South America including the Caribbean, with a clade of six species native to Indonesia/Melanesia. Despite their ecological importance in tropical forests, there have been no well-supported hypotheses on relationships among species of Heliconia, primarily due to similarities in flower traits that are specific to hummingbird pollination. Species have been divided taxonomically into subgenera based on floral and vegetative morphology, but this classification has not been tested in a phylogenetic context. Here we present our latest attempt to develop a well-supported species-level phylogeny for this rapidly evolving lineage of tropical plants, using a combination of at least 7 markers including nrITS and ETS, plastid markers trnLF and rpl16, and nuclear markers CAM, rbp2, G3pdh. We will further use this phylogeny to understand the evolution of floral characters and discuss evolutionary trends in plant-pollinator relationships and patterns of tropical biogeography.

Broader Impacts:
Three of the co-authors on this publication are (or were at the time of their participation) undergraduate researchers in the lab.

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1 - University of California, Berkeley, Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA
2 - University of California, Berkeley, Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall MC3102, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA
3 - Smithsonian, Botany, PO Box 37012, Washington, D.C, 20013-7012, USA

species-level phylogenetics
Low-copy Nuclear Markers
rapid radiation
molecular systematics.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 6
Location: 555A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 6003
Abstract ID:104

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