Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS
Harris, Eric S.J. .
Evolution and Chemistry of the Medicinal Moss Plagiomnium Kop.
PLAGIOMNIUM is one of the few genera of mosses to have known ethnobotanical uses. Three species of this moss are used medicinally, both in North America and in China. Flavonoids have been noted as the bioactive ingredients responsible for the medical effect of Plagiomnium. In order to understand the evolution of medicinal flavonoids in Plagiomnium, a molecular phylogeny for the genus was reconstructed using gene regions from both the chloroplast and the nucleus. Phylogenetic results suggest the hybrid origin of some species in the genus and indicate that Plagiomnium is paraphyletic, with the epiphytic genus Orthomnion nested within section Rostrata. The phylogeny was used to examine patterns of flavonoid evolution by mapping flavonoid presence/absence data onto the phylogeny and comparing flavonoid presence with ecological features, such as habitat, elevation, and latititude. Although many ecological and physiological functions of flavonoids have been proposed, there have been relatively few studies on the role of these chemicals in an ecological and evolutionary context, and fewer still on the role of these chemicals in mosses. In this study, phylogenetic comparative methods were used to test hypotheses about the ecological and evolutionary roles of these putatively medicinal chemicals.
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1 - University of California, Berkeley, University Herbarium, Department of Integrative Biology, 3060 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, California, 94720-3140
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Date: Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006
Time: 10:45 AM