Abstract Detail

From the backbone to diversification: unraveling the evolutionary history of Ericales

Smith, Stephen [1], Goncalves, Deise [2], Soltis, Pamela [3], Soltis, Douglas [4].

From the backbone to diversification: unravelling the evolutionary history of Ericales.

This symposium presents studies on the evolutionary history of Ericales, a diverse and globally distributed clade that includes a variety of economically important fruits (kiwi, blueberries, persimmon), timber woods (ebony), and ornamental plants (azaleas, phlox, primrose). This large angiosperm clade (recognized as an order in Linnaean classifications) encompasses 22 families, ca. 360 genera, and more than 12,000 species that are distributed in temperate and tropical regions. Despite numerous efforts to understand phylogenetic relationships within the clade, the backbone of Ericales is still uncertain with some families appearing in alternative positions depending on the sampling of taxa and molecular markers. Studies presented in this colloquium focus on using large amounts of molecular data and dense taxa sampling to answer important questions about the radiation of Ericales. Different types of molecular datasets were used to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of Ericales; transcriptomes were used to explore family-level relationships, and nuclear and plastome genes were used to explore within-family relationships. Although a major goal of phylogenetics is typically to recover well-resolved trees, conflicts in phylogenies derived from multiple data sources may not be artifacts of a lack of data or methodological error. Instead, these conflicts may represent biological information. Exploring large phylogenies and detecting regions of conflict (i.e., nodes that are not well supported or taxa that have incongruent placements depending on the dataset) may reveal areas of the tree in need of further investigation. Dissecting these areas of conflict in the tree at the molecular level may be important for shedding light on the molecular basis of factors involved in plant diversification. Comprehensive studies regarding phylogenetic relationships within and among families break new ground in exploring questions about worldwide patterns of evolution and maintenance of biological diversity. The morphological variation of Ericales is astonishing, as are the variety of habitats where ericalean species can occur and their latitudinal distribution. These characteristics combined with a large number of species make Ericales an important system to investigate factors that play a role in plant diversification. The colloquium will feature talks reporting on the evolutionary history of Ericales, emphasizing phylogenomics, spatiotemporal evolution, biogeography, rates and patterns of diversification, and the evolution of morphological traits related to the radiation of the clade.

1 - University of Michigan
2 - University Of Michigan, Ecology And Evolutionary Biology, 800 Fuller St. APT #16, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104, United States
3 - University Of Florida, Dept. of Biology, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
4 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, Dickinson Hall, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: C3SUM
Abstract ID:1257
Candidate for Awards:None

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