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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section / ASPT

Jestrow, Brett [1], Francisco-Ortega, Javier [1], Gutiérrez, Jorge [2], Berry, Paul E. [3].

Phylogenetics, conservation, and historical biogeography of the West Indian genera Lasiocroton and Leucocroton (Euphorbiaceae).

LEUCOCROTON has 28 species, 27 endemic to Cuba and one endemic to Hispanola. The genus is third largest, according to species, of genera endemic to the Caribbean islands. Lasiocroton, hypothesized to be sister to Leucocroton, has six species and is also restricted to the Caribbean islands. All species are indicators of soil type. Of the 26 species from Cuba that grow only on serpentine soils, all have been found to hyperaccumulate nickel at a level of at least a thousand times that of typical vascular plants.
This research project consists of three parts. The first part is based on phylogenetics and will determine if the genera are monophyletic, the genera’s position in the tribe, and a molecular phylogenetic tree. I will use Internal Transcribed Spacers from the nuclear ribosomal DNA, non--coding regions from the chloroplast DNA, and single copy nuclear genes from the nuclear DNA to obtain data. I will then use both parsimony and Bayesian methods for analysis. Next, I will write a monograph on a monophyletic subdivision using herbarium specimens. The conservation status of the species of the genus will be determined as part of the monograph. Finally, I will investigate the historical biogeography by comparing the aforementioned phylogenetic tree with the soils on which the plants are growing. The ancestral soil states and the dating of nodes will be determined by using methods described, respectively, by Ronquist and Sanderson. Understanding the evolutionary history of the genus is fundamental for investigating the genetic bases for nickel hyperaccumulation.

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1 - Florida International University, Deparment of Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th St., Miami, Florida, 33199, USA
2 - Jardín Botánico Nacional, Universidad de la Habana, Carretera del Rocío km 3 1/2, La Habana, , Cuba
3 - University of Michigan, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 830 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109-1048, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 19-4
Location: 106/Ayres
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 1:45 PM
Abstract ID:586

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