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Abstract Detail

Molecular Ecology and Evolution


Eupatorium rotundifolium complex and its journey across the Southeast.

Eupatorium rotundifolium s.s. is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) that contains both sexual diploids and hybrid polyploids.  The sexual diploids produce pollens, whereas the polyploids are apomitic and almost completely pollen sterile. Previous literature has reported that this species can form hybrids with other like species. Additionally, the diploid populations of this species are restricted within a narrow range along the peninsula and Apalachicola of FL and GA. In contrast, the polyploid populations are predominantly present throughout the southeastern U.S. The objective of this study was to investigate the evolutionary relationship within the species Eupatorium rotundifolium and its hybrid polyploid. According to herbarium specimens, there are possibilities that E. rotundifolium formed different hybrids with other species such as E. mohrii and E. sessilifolium. These hybrids cause confusion during species identification.  In this study, plant samples from diploid and polyploid populations were collected around the Southeast.  “Pure” diploid types and polyploids were measured and compared. Additionally, molecular data were used as a supplemental tool to ensure the hybrid origins of some samples. According to the molecular data, the results indicate that there has been differentiation within E. rotundifolium diploids around the Gulf Coast and diploids on the Atlantic Coast. Because the presence of polyploids are widespread beyond the diploid range, there could be two distinctive diploids hiding in plain sight. This might have led to some confusion about species identification. Further research will focus on the comparison of morphological characters of the Atlantic Coast and Apalachicola diploid populations. 

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1 - Winthrop University, Department of Biology, 202 Dalton Hall, Rock Hill, SC, 29733, United States


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 11
Location: Firs North/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: 11004
Abstract ID:826
Candidate for Awards:None

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