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Abstract Detail


Grossfurthner, Lukas [1], Paun, Ovidiu [2], Schneeweiss, Gerald [3].

Evolutionary relationships within the heteroploid Galium lucidum complex (Rubiaceae) in the Eastern Alps.

Pleistocene climatic fluctuations triggered range shifts, reticulate evolution and whole genome duplication events, fostering lineage diversification and speciation especially in mountain plants. A well-suited region to study these processes in the context of Pleistocene glaciations are the European Alps. In this study, we focus on the heteroploid Galium lucidum group (Rubiaceae) to infer evolutionary relationships between a widespread tetraploid, G. lucidum, and its closely related, but range-restricted congeners from the north-eastern Alps, diploid G. truniacum and tetraploid G. meliodorum. Thus, we test the hypothesis, implied by current taxonomy, that each of these species represents a distinct lineage, separated from each other by ploidy (diploid versus tetraploids) and/or by ecology (high elevation G. meliodorum versus low elevation G. lucidum). Applying RAD-sequencing on individuals with ploidy assessed using flow-cytometry and calibrated via chromosome counts, we found a clear separation into two groups corresponding to ploidy, but no separation within the tetraploid group. The strong morphological and ecological differentiation between the two currently accepted tetraploids might be due to few adaptive loci or to elevated phenotypic plasticity. Additionally, we found signals of shared ancestry between ploidies. Therefore, a re-evaluation of the taxonomic status of G. meliodorum is proposed.

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1 - University of Idaho, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Graduate Program, Moscow, ID, 83844, USA
2 - University Of Vienna , Department Of Botany And Biodiversity Research, Rennweg 14, Vienna, A-1030, Austria
3 - University Of Vienna, Botany And Biodiversity Research, Rennweg 14, Wien, 9, A-1030, Austria

Narrow endemics
Galium lucidum  complex
heteroploid dataset
relatedness heatmap

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 11:45 AM(EDT)
Number: BIOGII008
Abstract ID:867
Candidate for Awards:None

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