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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Fagua, José C. [1], Rauscher, Jason T. [2], Nassar, Jafet  [3], Vergara, Lina K. [4], Ackerman, James D.  [1].

Phylogeography of Melocactus (Cactaceae) in the northern South America.

Melocactus (Cactaceae) comprises circa 36 species found in South America, Central America and the Caribbean. It is thought that Melocactus originated in the Caatinga of Brazil, and then expanded and diversified in the northern Andes and Caribbean. As with much of the Cactaceae, taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships within Melocactus have not been satisfactorily resolved. In dry enclaves of Colombia and Venezuela, the number of species proposed varies from three to six. We aim to clarify the taxonomy of these species and generate a phylogeographical hypothesis of the Melocactus radiation in this region. Using multiple population samples of six proposed species, we sequenced three chloroplast regions and used a network analysis (Median-joining and NCPA). We found a very low number of chloroplast haplotypes (9), with low sequence diversity. While some haplotypes seem to be localized to particular regions of the Andes, at least one has a wide distribution across northern South America. Eight of nine haplotypes are located in the Colombian Andes and Cordillera de Merida. These dry mountain enclaves comprise less than 5% of total dry area in which Melocactus is found in northern South America. The number of haplotypes and their geographical distribution suggest that there may be more than three species in the Andean region. The more ancestral haplotypes are on the eastern flank of the Andes.

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1 - UPR Rio Piedras, Departamento de Biologia, FB246, San Juan, PR, 00931, USA
2 - UPR Rio Piedras, Departamento de Biologia, JGD 213, San Juan, PR, 00931
3 - Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Casa 18, Altos de Pipe, Carretera Panamericana Km 11, Caracas, Edo. Miranda, Venezuela
4 - Instituto Geográfico Agustín Codazzi, Carrera 30 Numero 48- 51, Edificio CIAf, Bogota, Colombia

dry enclaves
plastid sequences
Andean biogeography
Merida Mountain

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P1
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: P1RT007
Abstract ID:1185