Abstract Detail


Bunker, Marguerite [1], Sessa, Emily [2].

A Phylogenetic Approach to The Appalachian Asplenium Reticulate Complex.

The spleenwort ferns (Asplenium: Aspleniaceae) include ca. 730 species worldwide and the group as a whole is highly prone to reticulate evolution via allopolyploid hybridization. The Appalachian Asplenium reticulate complex includes thirteen species, with three diploids, three fertile, putative allotetraploids, and seven other sterile, presumably diploid hybrids whose morphologies typically lie in between those of their parents. The thirteen species inhabit a variety of different environments, and some are not strictly confined to the Appalachian Mountains. Most of the early systematic and taxonomic work on this group was based on morphology, cytology, and chemical analyses. In the 1950s, a hypothesis for the relationships among the diploids, allopolyploids, and hybrids was proposed that has become a classic example of reticulate evolution in vascular plants (the “Asplenium triangle”), but it has not been tested using modern molecular techniques. I plan to investigate the relationships between the thirteen Appalachian Asplenium species by looking at branching patterns and investigating the dynamics of parentage for the allopolyploids. Sample collections from the field will be used for sequencing of both chloroplast and nuclear genes, and analyses of these data will produce first molecular phylogeny for the Appalachian Asplenium complex. Asplenium is an exciting group to address questions about reticulate evolution because it is a potential model for studying how reticulate evolution contributes to plant diversity, and specifically for understanding the consequences of polyploidy in ferns. The prevalence of hybridization and polyploidy in ferns is well known, but many groups, including Asplenium, have not yet been subjected to detailed analysis to confirm parentage of polyploids and investigate the effects of polyploidy on specific aspects of gene expression and physiology.

1 - 941 NW 21st Ave, Gainesville, FL, 32609, United States
2 - University of Florida, Biology , 521a Bartram , Gainesville, FL, 32603, USA

reticulate evolution

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Pteridology
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PPT002
Abstract ID:188
Candidate for Awards:None


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