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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section / ASPT

Bush, Catherine [1], Lu, Lu [2], Fritsch, Peter W. [3], Kron, Kathleen A. [1].

The phylogeny, morphology and biogeography of the wintergreen group (Gaultherieae; Vaccinioideae; Ericaceae; Ericales).

THE monophyletic wintergreen group (Gaultherieae) is composed of five genera: Chamaedaphne, Diplycosia, Gaultheria, Leucothoe, and Tepuia. The group, as a whole, exhibits unusual geographical distributions including a monotypic North American/European genus (Chamaedaphne), a small genus found only on the tepuis of Venezuela (Tepuia), and one large genus whose most species-rich region spans southwest China and the Himalayas (Gaultheria). Of great interest is the definition of synapomorphies for clades within the group as well as the variation exhibited in these characteristics. For instance, the approximately 100 species of Diplycosia are found only in Southeast Asia and are considered to be distinct from Gaultheria due to their predominantly epiphytic habit. Both genera share the traditionally important character of a dry/indehiscent capsule with a fleshy calyx (though the degree of fleshiness is often a point of contention for generic limits within Gaultheria). To explore these unique aspects of the wintergreen group, ndhF, matK, and ITS sequences were generated for representatives of each genus. These preliminary results confirm the monophyly of the group as a whole and also offer strong support for the monophyly of a surprising subset of three genera: Tepuia, Diplycosia, and Gaultheria. Tepuia is shown to be deeply imbedded within the predominantly Gaultheria clade and Diplycosia is a well supported clade that is derived from within Gaultheria. Several strongly supported clades are recognized that correlate well with geographic areas including those from South America as well as the Himalayas/Southeast Asia. Based on the taxon sampling in this study, calyx fleshiness appears to be phylogenetically informative within Gaultheria.[c.e.:srb]

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1 - Wake Forest University, Department of Biology, PO Box 7325, 226 Winston Hall, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27109-7325, USA
2 - Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Heilongtan Kunming, Yunnan 650204, , P. R. China
3 - California Academy of Sciences, Department of Botany, 875 Howard Street, San Francisco, California, 94103-3009, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 51-8
Location: 120/Ayres
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 4:15 PM
Abstract ID:471

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