Ooi, Maggie T. , Clark, John L. , Amaya Marquez, Marisol , Smith, James .
Distinguishing Species with DNA Sequencing in the Columnea strigosa Complex .
Historically, identifying species boundaries has depended on morphology. However, morphology alone is often challenging because of convergent evolution, phenotypic plasticity, and intra-specific variation. New methods like molecular phylogenetics, which is the analysis of DNA sequences to determine evolutionary lineages, has become essential to modern day systematic biology since 1981. Molecular data are less prone to the challenges that are found in morphology since DNA sequences can be used to define species boundaries when species are defined as evolutionary lineages. Determining species boundaries within the widespread Neotropical genus Columnea has been complicated based on morphology alone due to all of the problems mentioned above. The Columnea strigosa complex is one particular case. This complex has been delimited from one to six species over the past 150 years. Here we examine molecular data of individuals from throughout the geographical and morphological range of the complex. DNA regions used were nuclear regions ITS and three chloroplast regions (rpl16x1-trnQ5 spacer, rpl32-trnL spacer, and rps16 intron). Sequences were then analyzed to assess relationships between species within the complex.
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1 - Boise State University, Biological Sciences, 1910 University Drive, Boise, ID
2 - University of Alabama, Biological Sciences, Box 870345 , Tusacaloosa, AL, 35487, USA
3 - Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Aptdo. Aereo 7495, Bogota, Colombia
4 - BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY, Biology Department, 1910 UNIVERSITY DRIVE, Boise, ID, 83725-1515, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM