Event Title

A Phylogenetic Study of African Nymphoides

Mentor 1

Dr. Nicholas Tippery

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 3:45 PM

Description

Plant species diversity contributes to overall organismal diversity worldwide, and by understanding the identities and interrelationships of plant species we are better able to understand the natural environment. The aquatic plant genus Nymphoides contains approximately 50 species, which are found worldwide in a variety of habitats. Although the taxonomy of Australian and North American species is fairly well understood, Nymphoides species in other parts of the world are still in need of study. One such location is Africa, where 12 species are native. Although it is not always feasible to study live species, preserved herbarium specimens can provide traits that are useful for study. In particular, seeds from herbarium specimens tend to preserve well and can be used for identification. In a previous study, seeds from African Nymphoides were analyzed, and it was determined that five out of the 12 species native to Africa can be identified by seed morphology alone. Although morphological studies can be useful for describing species, they are not definitive indicators of relatedness. In order to gain more evidence for inferring phylogenetic relationships, we used DNA sequence data to investigate the species identifications that were made using seed morphology. Specifically, we sequenced portions of the nuclear ITS and plastid matK regions and conducted phylogenetic inference. The results of the phylogenetic inference revealed that differences in seed morphology do indeed correlate with phylogenetically discernable species.

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Apr 24th, 2:30 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

A Phylogenetic Study of African Nymphoides

Union Wisconsin Room

Plant species diversity contributes to overall organismal diversity worldwide, and by understanding the identities and interrelationships of plant species we are better able to understand the natural environment. The aquatic plant genus Nymphoides contains approximately 50 species, which are found worldwide in a variety of habitats. Although the taxonomy of Australian and North American species is fairly well understood, Nymphoides species in other parts of the world are still in need of study. One such location is Africa, where 12 species are native. Although it is not always feasible to study live species, preserved herbarium specimens can provide traits that are useful for study. In particular, seeds from herbarium specimens tend to preserve well and can be used for identification. In a previous study, seeds from African Nymphoides were analyzed, and it was determined that five out of the 12 species native to Africa can be identified by seed morphology alone. Although morphological studies can be useful for describing species, they are not definitive indicators of relatedness. In order to gain more evidence for inferring phylogenetic relationships, we used DNA sequence data to investigate the species identifications that were made using seed morphology. Specifically, we sequenced portions of the nuclear ITS and plastid matK regions and conducted phylogenetic inference. The results of the phylogenetic inference revealed that differences in seed morphology do indeed correlate with phylogenetically discernable species.