Abstract Detail


Landis, Henry [1], Roalson, Eric [2], Busch, Jeremiah [3].

Reticulate evolution as a potential driver of ecological niche adaptation in Quercus..

Traditional phylogenetic trees may fail to fully describe taxonomic relationships in groups with signals of introgression, the transfer of genetic material between species through backcrossing. The genus Quercus (oaks; Fagaceae) has an infamous reputation for phylogenetic complexity resulting from rampant genus-wide introgression. Several recent phylogenetic and genomic studies have contributed to increased resolution of Quercus relationships at the species level. However, due to widespread introgression, a more complete understanding of Quercus requires characterization of distinct, interweaving gene trees that may be incongruent with the species tree. Reticulate evolution, the formation of new lineages from hybridization of distinct parental lineages, has contributed substantially to Quercus species relationships and likely contributes to the diversification of Quercus gene trees as well. Additionally, many Quercus species have demonstrated strong ecological niche adaptation, which is a likely contributor to the maintenance of species identity within the genus despite widespread gene flow. The co-occurrence of reticulation networks and strong selection for environmental niches raises the prospect that the former may drive the latter. We seek to investigate this hypothesis in a group of western North American Quercus centering on Q. gambelii, a shrub-like species native to low-elevation foothills with at least ten confirmed or suspected hybridizing partners. A broad population and species sampling from western North America will be used in conjunction with a transcriptomics approach to identify gene networks that may experience selection driven by reticulation, whether ancient or ongoing. This research represents a novel framework to explore the past and present directions of Quercus through the unification of phylogenetic and population genetics strategies.

1 - Washington State University, School of Biological Sciences, Abelson Hall 369, Pullman, WA, 99164, United States
2 - Washington State University, School Of Biological Sciences, Abelson Hall 339, Pullman, WA, 99164, United States
3 - Washington State University, School Of Biological Sciences, PO Box 644236, Pullman, WA, 99164, USA

niche evolution

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PPL004
Abstract ID:357
Candidate for Awards:Phytochemical Best Poster Award

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