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Abstract Detail


Molecular Ecology and Evolution

Longwich, Adam [1], Condon, Marty [2], Swensen, Susan [1].

Neotropical Cucumbers: Molecular Phylogenetic Reconstruction of the Genus Gurania.

Gurania are a genus of monoecious flowering vines that are native to Central and South America. Early in their life, vines produce male flowers and climb into the rainforest canopy. Once they reach a certain size, male vines begin to produce female flowers in pendulous inflourescences. Gurania serve as hosts to fruit flies in the genus Blepharoneura where as many as seven different species of flies may parasitize a single species of Gurania. Currently, there is no clear picture of species relationships within Gurania. Taxonomic revision based on morphology is currently underway, but geographical variation within species has led to difficulties in species definitions and no phylogenetic analysis has been completed. Our work is aimed at reconstructing a phylogeny of Gurania using molecular data. Preliminary comparison of chloroplast DNA regions has indicated little divergence suggesting that Gurania species are closely related. As a result, phylogenetic reconstructions require the analysis of multiple, rapidly evolving gene regions. We have identified useful gene regions for phylogenetic reconstruction in Gurania based on chloroplast intergenic spacer regions used in phylogenetic reconstruction of Psiguria, the sister genus of Gurania. Using leaf samples collected in the field, we have extracted, amplified, and sequenced six chloroplast intergenic spacers: rpoB-trnC,trnS-trnG, ndhF-rpl32, psbE-petL, psbM-trnD, and ndhC-trnV. Pairwise comparisons of these sequences reveal 0.22-2.26% sequence divergence among the Gurania species suggesting that while Gurania are closely related, sufficient sequence variation exists for phylogeny reconstruction. Parsimony and maximum likelihood-based phylogenetic analysis of multiple species of Gurania will be presented and used to interpret morphology and biogeography.

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1 - Ithaca College, Biology, 953 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY, 14850, USA
2 - Cornell College, Biology, 600 First Street SW, Mount Vernon, IA, 52314, USA

Keywords:
Cucurbitaceae
Phylogeny
Gurania.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PME006
Abstract ID:639


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