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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section / ASPT

Specht, Chelsea [1], Kress, John [2], Driscoll, Heather [1], Cooper, Hillary [1], Lagomarsino, Laura [1], Lopez, Ida [2], Wang, Debra [1], Wang, Yizhuo [1].

Molecular systematics and DNA barcode analysis for Heliconia.

HELICONIACEAE is an ecologically and economically important family of tropical plants with approximately 215 species in the single genus Heliconia. Heliconias are grown as tropical ornamentals throughout the world, however their native geographic distribution is primarily in the neotropics with a single clade of only six species native to Indonesia, New Guinea and several South Pacific islands. Despite their importance as cultivated plants, well-supported hypotheses on relationships among the species of Heliconia remain unknown, primarily due to large-scale morphological convergence of floral and inflorescence traits specific to hummingbird pollination, and a general lack of phylogenetically informative vegetative characters. Heliconia species have been divided taxonomically into subgenera based on morphological characters but this classification has been subject to only limited testing in a phylogenetic framework. Here we present a preliminary genus-wide molecular phylogeny for Heliconia based on chloroplast and nuclear sequence data to address the monophyly of proposed subgenera and species groups in Heliconia and to interpret evolutionary trends in pollination relationships and tropical biogeography. In addition, we test DNA regions identified as having high potential for “DNA barcoding” for their ability to positively and uniquely identify Heliconia species from non-fertile leaf material. Species identification from vegetative material is difficult for most species of Heliconia, thus DNA barcoding provides an essential tool for many ecological and entomological studies dependent on proper identification of heliconias.

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1 - University of California, Berkeley, Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall MC 3102, Berkeley, California, 94720-3102, USA
2 - Smithsonian, Botany, PO Box 37012, Washington, D.C, 20013-7012, USA

DNA Barcoding
molecular phylogenetics
species-level phylogenetics
low-copy nuclear marker.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: 48-206
Location: Auditorium/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:580

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