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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Allevato, Daniella [1], Groppo, Milton [2], Nixon, Kevin [3].

Evolution of Phytochemical Diversity in Pilocarpus (Rutaceae) using a combined phylogenetic and environmental analysis .

The diversity of plant secondary chemistry has been extensively studied in order to understand plant interactions with, and responses to the environment, insects/vertebrates, and other plants. Pilocarpus, a neotropical genus of Rutaceae is rich in alkaloids, terpenoids and coumarins, and is the main commercial source of the alkaloid pilocarpine for the treatment of glaucoma. Overharvesting of Pilocarpus microphyllus for pilocarpine production has led to near-extinction of natural populations of this species; therefore, alternative sources of pilocarpine in other species of Pilocarpus, as well as an understanding of genetic and environmental factors needed for increases in compound yields would greatly help reduce this destruction and maintain biodiversity. Many studies have found that different environmental conditions such as temperature, elevation, precipitation and soil type can alter plant phytochemicals, including alkaloids, terpenoids and coumarins. The main aim of this research is to elucidate how phylogenetic relationships and adaptation to environmental variation shapes the phytochemical diversity within and among species of Pilocarpus. Locality data from 2655 herbarium specimens were used to evaluate areas of diversity and identify environmental variables contributing to the distribution patterns of Pilocarpus species. These data provided a guide for field collections in Brazil to obtain fresh, georeferenced material to estimate a molecular phylogeny of the genus, evaluate chemical profiles, and test the Climate Variability Hypothesis with regards to the alkaloids and coumarins found in Pilocarpus. The combination of phylogenetic methods and niche-modeling (using various environmental variables) to investigate the evolution of phytochemical diversity across clades and habitats, is a relatively novel approach to the analysis of phytochemical diversity and will have broad implications in a variety of areas including biocontrol for pests and strategies for species conservation maximizing phytochemical diversity.    

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1 - Cornell University, 237 Mann Drive, 412 Mann Library, Ithaca, New York, 14853, United States
2 - USP Ribeirao Preto, Botanica, Avenida Bandeirantes 3900, Ribeirao Preto , SP, Brazil
3 - Cornell University, L. H. BAILEY HORTORIUM, 408 MANN LIBRARY, ITHACA, NY, 14853-4301, USA

Phytochemical Diversity
ecological niche modeling
RutaceaeĀ .

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P, Recent Topics Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT026
Abstract ID:1219
Candidate for Awards:None

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