Event Title

Exploring Species Boundaries of Thelesperma (Astaraceae) on Gypsum Using Phylogenetic and Morphometric Analysis

Location

Virtual presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2020 8:00 AM

End Date

5-2-2020 5:00 PM

Abstract

Gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral that exists as surface outcrops in some regions of the world and that is a relatively harsh environment for plant life. Nevertheless, such outcrops host numerous plant species that grow only on the substrate gypsum and are adapted to nutrient-poor conditions. Thelesperma is a genus of thirteen species in the sunflower family that often occupy gypsum in the Chihuahuan Desert region of northern Mexico and southwestern USA, including one species restricted to gypsum. The evolutionary relationships of these populations along with all other species of Thelesperma were constructed by generating DNA sequences of the nuclear ITS (1A/4) region and two chloroplast regions (the ndhF/rpl32 and rpl32/trnL spacer regions). This sequence data revealed that populations of T. longipes and T. megapotamicum possessed diverse sequences that grouped into a few distinct clades, possibly representing new species. Therefore, the current study aims to test whether individual clades of these two species are morphologically coherent but distinctive from each other, confirming that they are separate species through morphometric analysis of vegetative and reproductive characters. Herbarium samples will be used for morphometric analysis.

Keywords:

Biology, Plant systematics, Molecular phylogenetic, Evolutionary tree, Phylogenetic tree, Southwest desert plants, Species boundaries

Notes

Click here to view this poster at the Office of Undergraduate Research website from April 27-May 2, 2020.

Major

Biology

Project Mentor(s)

Michael Moore, Biology

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Apr 27th, 8:00 AM May 2nd, 5:00 PM

Exploring Species Boundaries of Thelesperma (Astaraceae) on Gypsum Using Phylogenetic and Morphometric Analysis

Virtual presentation

Gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral that exists as surface outcrops in some regions of the world and that is a relatively harsh environment for plant life. Nevertheless, such outcrops host numerous plant species that grow only on the substrate gypsum and are adapted to nutrient-poor conditions. Thelesperma is a genus of thirteen species in the sunflower family that often occupy gypsum in the Chihuahuan Desert region of northern Mexico and southwestern USA, including one species restricted to gypsum. The evolutionary relationships of these populations along with all other species of Thelesperma were constructed by generating DNA sequences of the nuclear ITS (1A/4) region and two chloroplast regions (the ndhF/rpl32 and rpl32/trnL spacer regions). This sequence data revealed that populations of T. longipes and T. megapotamicum possessed diverse sequences that grouped into a few distinct clades, possibly representing new species. Therefore, the current study aims to test whether individual clades of these two species are morphologically coherent but distinctive from each other, confirming that they are separate species through morphometric analysis of vegetative and reproductive characters. Herbarium samples will be used for morphometric analysis.