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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section / ASPT

Dertien, Joseph R. [1], Duvall, Melvin R. [1].

Systematics and molecular conservation genetics of endangered trees of the dry neotropics (Guaiacum; Zygophyllaceae).

CLARIFICATION of the evolutionary relationships within Guaiacum are important to the continued survival of these economically important and globally endangered trees and shrubs endemic to the dry neotropics. Deciphering species and population relationships in Guaiacum will serve to delineate species and identify genetically significant populations, which will have direct impact and application to issues of tropical conservation and commercial trade of these historically over-harvested IUCN and CITES listed plants. In a broader context, these relationships will also address general questions regarding lineage divergence, phylogeographic patterns, and provide valuable insight towards the nature of gene flow and speciation in fragmented plant populations. The relationships within Guaiacum as well as relationships among allied genera in Larreoideae (Zygophyllaceae) are being explored using sequence data from three highly variable DNA markers (trnL-F, trnS-G, ITS). These data are then analyzed using methodologies that incorporate those from the traditionally separate fields of systematics and population genetics. Preliminary phylogenetic analyses and analysis of haplotype networks strongly support a significant genetic divergence between Caribbean and Mexican populations of G. sanctum. These analyses also suggest a novel molecular relationship between the Guatemalan endemic G. guatemalense and Caribbean G. officinale. These results are of particular significance because they pertain to interspecific and intraspecific genetic exchange, which are key factors involved in plant speciation and are highly relevant to conservation and resource management efforts.

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1 - Northern Illinois University, Department of Biological Sciences, Montgomery Hall, DeKalb, Illinois, 60115-2861, USA

plant evolution
conservation genetics
population genetics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 19-3
Location: 106/Ayres
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 1:30 PM
Abstract ID:785

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