Systematics Section / ASPT
Maher, Keri , Metcalf, Anthony , Aranda, Jorge , Winter, Klaus , Skillman, John .
Towards a molecular phylogeny of the Panamanian Aechmea, a species-rich genus in the Bromeliaceae.
AECHMEA, with 220 described members, is a highly diverse genus in the neotropical family Bromeliaceae with respect to floral morphology, photosynthetic pathway (C3 and CAM), and growth-form (terrestrial and epiphytic); yet, itís phylogeny is poorly resolved. We are investigating the evolutionary relationships among each of the 18 Panamanian species of Aechmea with the intent of elucidating the origins of diversity for this genus in the region of the Isthmus of Panama. Panama is a unique biogeographic region in that the closing of this isthmus approximately 3 MYA allowed for biological exchange between the North American and South American land masses. The molecular markers, cpDNA sequences (two noncoding regions, rps16 and trnL-F, and one coding sequence, matK), were chosen because of their demonstrated utility in other phylogenetic studies at the intergeneric and infrageneric taxonomic levels. In spite of the diversified nature of Aechmea, these DNA sequences have thus far demonstrated a surprisingly low level of genetic variation. One possible explanation for the low amount of DNA sequence variation, when coupled with the high ecological and physiological variation, is that there has been recent adaptive radiation for this genus.
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1 - California State University San Bernadino, Biology Department, 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, California, 92407, USA
2 - Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Biology, Unit 0948, APO AA 34002, Panama City, Panama, 0843-03092, Panama
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Auditorium/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 12:30 PM