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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Teisher, Jordan [1], Kellogg, Elizabeth [2].

The Evolution of C-4 Photosynthesis and Leaf Anatomy in the Eriachneae (Micrairoideae:Poaceae).

The grass family (Poaceae) contains some of the most evolutionarily successful plants. A major factor in the success of the family has been the repeated independent acquisition of C-4 photosynthesis, which confers a competitive advantage in hot, dry, open habitats over the much more common C-3 form. Of the approximately 22 origins of this pathway in the grasses, the tribe Eriachneae within subfamily Micrairoideae represents one of the least well characterized. With 50 species in only 2 genera, this primarily Australian clade is sister to the Isachneae, a much larger C-3 clade (over 100 species in 6 genera). The Isachneae possess radiate chlorenchyma, an anatomical trait usually associated with C-4 taxa, suggesting a possible preadaptation within the Micrairoideae for the evolution of C-4 photosynthesis. However, not all of the Eriachneae and Isachneae have been characterized anatomically, and the phylogenetic relationships within the Eriachneae are unknown. This study attempts to fill these gaps through molecular sequencing of species in the Eriachneae and a comparative phylogenetic analysis of leaf anatomical evolution across subfamily Micrairoideae. Anatomical traits affiliated with the C-4 pathway (i.e. bundle sheath size and distance, chloroplast distribution, mesophyll chlorenchyma arrangement) are identified for representative species from all genera in the three tribes of the Micrairoideae: Eriachneae, Isachneae and Micraireae (with a single genus, Micraira). Special attention is given to members of the Eriachneae, in which anatomical traits are combined with a molecular phylogeny of chloroplast markers to map their evolutionary history.

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1 - Washington University in St. Louis, Biology, One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1137, St. Louis, MO, 631303, USA
2 - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Department Of Biology, 975 North Warson Road, St. Louis, MO, 63132, USA

C4 photosynthesis

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 13
Location: Pines South/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 3:45 PM
Number: 13009
Abstract ID:451
Candidate for Awards:None

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