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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Penneys, Darin S. [1], Judd, Walter S. [2].

Phylogeny and character evolution in the Blakeeae (Melastomataceae).

Blakeeae (Melastomataceae) are a Neotropical tribe of mostly hemiepiphytic, woody plants that frequently form domatia harboring mites or ants in mutualistic associations. According to previous classifications, the tribe comprises nearly 200 species in two genera, Blakea and Topobea. Key characters separating the two genera pertain to anther morphology, however, numerous species have recently been discovered with intermediate anther forms, thus making an already dubious distinction even more doubtful. In order to test the monophyly of Blakea and Topobea, we conducted independent and combined phylogenetic analyses using nrITS, cpDNA spacers accD-psaI, atpB-rbcL, trnL-trnF, and morphology. These analyses resolved the genera as highly polyphyletic. Blakea has nomenclatural priority, thus Topobea has been synonymized. We also found that Chalybea and Huilaea, together comprising ten species of hummingbird-pollinated, Andean trees, belong in the Blakeeae, rather than the Miconieae as had been previously maintained. Morphological character evolution tracked on the combined cladogram demonstrates the phylogenetic utility of these 111 characters, as many are synapomorphic for particular radiations within Blakea. Noteworthy groups identified include the rodent-pollinated clade, the hexandrous clade, the Solanum-flowered clade, the blue-anther clade, and others. There has been a single shift from insect to vertebrate pollination, while associations with ants and mites have evolved multiple times.

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Related Links:
Melastomataceae of the World

1 - California Academy of Sciences, Department of Botany, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, 94118, USA
2 - University of Florida, Department of Biology, 220 Bartram Hall, P.O. Box 118526, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 56
Location: 556B/Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Time: 5:00 PM
Number: 56016
Abstract ID:699

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