Abstract Detail


Flickinger, Jonathan [1], Jestrow, Brett [2], Oviedo, Ramona [3], Santiago, Eugenio [4], Sustache-Sustache, Jose [5], Jiménez-Rodríguez, Francisco [6], Campbell, Keron [7], Francisco-Ortega, Javier [8].

A phylogenetic study of Myrtaceae from the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot.

Neotropical Myrtaceae (tribe Myrteae) are a diverse and prominent group of trees and shrubs including the cultivated guava and allspice.  Though easily recognized as a group, Myrteae are taxonomically challenging due to the large number of species and difficulty of circumscribing monophyletic genera.  Approximately 500 species of Myrtaceae are endemic to the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot, but to date, molecular phylogenetic studies of the group have mostly focused on South American species.  To address this shortcoming, a phylogenetic study of Caribbean Myrtaceae was conducted to evaluate the monophyly and placement of several Caribbean taxa and to identify novel clades for further study.  Samples of Myrtaceae representing all genera native to the Greater Antilles were collected in the field and sequenced for one nuclear (ITS) and two plastid (psbA-trnH and ndhF-rpl32) genetic regions.  Aligned sequence data were analyzed using maximum parsimony and Bayesian methods to infer a phylogeny for approximately 110 species of Myrtaceae.  Major results include the emergence of the formerly endemic genera Calyptrogenia and Hottea within Eugenia and Mitranthes within Myrcia s.l. in agreement with previous work, while Calycorectes ekmanii and C. moana are found to constitute a potential new genus endemic to Cuba.  Pseudanamomis sensu Bisse is shown to be polyphyletic, while the mostly Cuban genus Mosiera forms a monophyletic group sister to Psidium.  Limited sampling of species of Plinia endemic to the Greater Antilles suggests their placement in Myrciaria.  In addition, several well-supported clades of Eugenia, the most diverse genus in the region, are resolved, including the novel “Lathberry Clade.”  This work contributes to the study of Neotropical Myrtaceae by being the first to extensively sample species from the Caribbean region.  The results necessitate several taxonomic changes and will inform future systematic and floristic studies.  This study also highlights unique lineages for conservation priority within a global hotspot of biodiversity.

1 - Florida International University, International Center for Tropical Botany, Department of Biological Sciences, Miami, FL, 33199, USA
2 - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL, 33156, USA
3 - Instituto de Ecología y Sistemática, Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y el Medio Ambiente, A.P. 8029, 10800, Habana, Cuba
4 - Department Of Biology, Apartado 23360, San Juan, 00931, Puerto Rico
5 - Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales, PO Box 366147, San Juan, PR, 00936, USA
6 - Jardín Botánico Nacional, Avenida República de Colombia, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
7 - Institute of Jamaica, The Herbarium, Natural History Museum of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica
8 - Florida International University, International Center for Tropical Botany, Department of Biological Sciences, Miami, FL, 33199, United States

biodiversity hotspot.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Abstract ID:765
Candidate for Awards:George R. Cooley Award

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