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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Houser, Dilys C. [1], From, Marge [2], Copeland, Alison I. [3], Kellar, P. Roxanne [4].

Phylogenetic placement of Diplazium laffanianum (Athyriaceae), a fern species endemic to Bermuda.

Painstaking efforts to save Diplazium laffanianum from extinction are strengthened by molecular and morphological systematics. The last wild collection of D. laffanianum was made in Bermuda in 1905, but now the species is extinct in the wild. The last few individuals were housed at the Bermuda Botanic Garden beginning in the 1960s. For the last ten years, a collaborative team of researchers from the Government of Bermuda and the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska has been working to bring this species back from the brink of extinction. In this project, we studied molecular and morphological characters of many species of Diplazium in order to determine the proper taxonomic and phylogenetic placement of D. laffanianum and to infer its biogeographical origins. We sequenced the plastid genome of D. laffanianum using high-throughput sequencing, downloaded six plastid markers (atpA, atpB, matK, rbcL, rps4-trnS, and trnL-F) from GenBank for multiple Diplazium species, and inferred a phylogeny. We studied 188 collections of closely related Diplazium species, borrowed from five herbaria, and we databased 20 morphological characters, including frond shape, sorus shape, etc. in order to confirm D. laffanianum as a species unique from all other Diplazium species. Our results support D. laffanianum as a unique species based on both molecular and morphological data. The phylogeny places D. laffanianum sister to D. cristatum, these two species form a clade sister to D. bombonasae, and these three species form a clade sister to D. plantaginifolium. These phylogenetic relationships suggest that D. laffanianum evolved from a Caribbean ancestor. Our results confirm the taxonomic classification of D. laffanianum and will aid in conservation of the species.

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Related Links:
Department of Conservation Services, Government of Bermuda
Kellar Lab Web page

1 - University of Nebraska at Omaha, 6001 W. Dodge Street - AH228, Omana, NE, 68182, USA
2 - Henry Doorly Zoo, 3701 South 10th Street, Omaha, NE, 68107-2200, USA
3 - Government of Bermuda, Department of Conservation Services, P.O Box FL145, Flatts, FLBX, Bermuda
4 - University of Nebraska at Omaha, Biology, 6001 W. Dodge St. - AH 211A, Omaha, NE, 68182, USA

plastid markers

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PSY004
Abstract ID:416
Candidate for Awards:None

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