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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Tippery, Nicholas P. [1], Les, Donald H. [1], Jacobs, Surrey [2], Jones, Cynthia S. [1].

But will it float? Evolution of inflorescence architecture in Nymphoides (Menyanthaceae).

The genus Nymphoides includes 40-50 species distributed worldwide, the majority of which have floating leaves supporting flowers that must be pollinated above water. Several broad inflorescence types exist in Nymphoides, with the most distinctive consisting of a single cluster of flowers supported by a single floating leaf. The nearest relatives of Nymphoides do not have floating leaves obligately associated with their inflorescences, and these represent a valuable point of comparison when reconstructing the evolution of inflorescence architecture in Nymphoides. Published morphological accounts of inflorescences in Nymphoides describe them as consisting of successive sympodial units, in which the apex terminates in a flower and subsequent growth continues from an axillary bud. The different inflorescence types in Nymphoides putatively evolved through the increase or reduction in the number of leaves and flowers per sympodial unit. When inflorescence types were mapped onto the Nymphoides phylogeny generated from molecular data (nrITS, trnK 5' intron), multiple transitions among states were observed, typically toward a reduction in sympodial unit size and complexity. Our data thus suggest that inflorescence architecture is evolutionarily labile in Nymphoides, and that the clustered inflorescence which characterizes the majority of species represents a derived trait.

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1 - University of Connecticut, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 75 North Eagleville Road, U-3043, Storrs, Connecticut, 062693043, USA
2 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia

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Aquatic plants

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 63
Location: Cottonwood D/Snowbird Center
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 10:00 AM
Number: 63002
Abstract ID:478