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Abstract Detail



Systematics Section/ASPT

Gillespie, Emily [1], Kron, Kathleen [2].

Evolution of the deciduous azaleas (Rhododendron subg. Pentanthera).

The familiar deciduous azaleas are a group of approximately 16 closely related species currently recognized within the genus Rhododendron. Most species occur in the southeastern United States, but a number occur in the Pacific Northwest United States, in the Caucasus and in Eastern Asia. These plants, along with many of their evergreen relatives, are frequent targets for hybridization and genetic manipulation and therefore make up a substantial portion of the garden plant trade around the world. Despite this economic importance and general familiarity among botanists and the public, we lack an understanding of evolutionary relationships among the azalea species. The goal of the current project is to estimate evolutionary relationships among these species using molecular data. All named species of southeastern azaleas, as well as outgroup representatives from other Rhododendron sections and subgenera were included. Nine DNA regions were chosen from nuclear and chloroplast genomes, and subjected to Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian analyses. Our current analyses reveal a rapidly improving phylogeny with which we can begin to investigate patterns in morphological, ecological and biogeographic evolution.


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1 - Marshall University, 1700 3rd Avenue, Huntington, WV, 25755, USA
2 - Wake Forest University, Department Of Biology, 1834 Wake Forest Road, WINSTON-SALEM, NC, 27106, USA

Keywords:
Rhododendron
molecular systematics
North America
Asia
Tertiary distribution
Biogeography.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 30
Location: Payette/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 4:15 PM
Number: 30010
Abstract ID:709
Candidate for Awards:None


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