Abstract Detail

Ericaceae: Systematics, Ecology and Evolution

Beeler, Reese [1], Sharples, Mathew [2], Tripp, Erin [3].

Introgression Among Western North American Bilberries (Vaccinium section Myrtillus).

Despite being dominant elements of understory communities in the coniferous forests of western North America, evolutionary relationships between species of bilberry (Vaccinium section Myrtillus) remain unresolved. Hypothesized to have involved extensive introgression, morphological delimitation among most western bilberries is tenuous and traditionally employed genetic markers have yielded insufficient variability. Here we used RADseq data to test whether complexity in species boundaries is partially explainable by historical introgression among the species V. myrtillus, V. scoparium, and V. cespitosum. Additionally, using a species tree inferred through maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis, we tested whether the disjunct North American populations of V. myrtillus are monophyletic and thus likely conspecific with those in Eurasia. Significant introgression as determined through D-statistic analyses was detected between V. myrtillus and V. cespitosum as well as between V. myrtillus and V. scoparium, but none was detected between V. scoparium and V. cespitosum. North American V. myrtillus was recovered as non-monophyletic with Eurasian material, suggesting that further taxonomic revision may be appropriate. The long-assumed sister species relationship between V. myrtillus and V. scoparium was also not recovered in our phylogeny. This study highlights considerable introgression detectable in the evolutionary history of western North American bilberries and the utility of RADseq approaches to resolve species level relationships in groups that undergo reticulate evolution, such as Vaccinium.

1 - 402 Rendezvous Dr., Lafayette, CO, 80026, United States
2 - 745 College Ave., Boulder, CO, 80302, United States
3 - C105, Ramaley Hall, UCB350, Clare Small Building, Basement, Boulder, CO, 80309, United States

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Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Abstract ID:268
Candidate for Awards:None

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