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Abstract Detail


Collins, Betsy [1], Weeks, Andrea [2].

Using low-copy nuclear markers to study population genetics and phylogeography of Neotropical Palo Santo trees (Bursera graveolens; Burseraceae).

Bursera graveolens (Kunth) Triana & Planch. (Burseraceae), or palo santo, is an economically and ecologically important tree species found throughout the seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) of southern Mexico south to Peru. No study to date has evaluated the relationship among the many disparate island and continental populations of B. graveolens, which are among the most widespread in the genus and rivaled only by those of B. simaruba, a distantly related species of B. subg. Bursera. We seek to determine whether 91 low-copy nuclear markers designed for Bursera simaruba can be used to study population-level variation and structure in this species. These primers were designed for microfluidic PCR-based target enrichment and have been used successfully to resolve species-level phylogeny of its sister genus, Commiphora, and to amplify regions from taxa throughout Sapindales. Our pilot study uses 100 individuals of Bursera graveolens that were collected from the Galápagos archipelago to 1) understand population genetic diversity of Bursera graveolens among these islands, 2) evaluate whether we will be able to expand the project using additional continental populations of Bursera graveolens using this method, and 3) determine whether DNA extracted from herbarium specimens will be sufficient for future phylogenomic analyses. Our research will address the deficit in our knowledge about historical construction of the flora of Neotropical seasonally dry tropical forests and our ability to measure population genetic diversity of its inhabitants.

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1 - George Mason University, Environmental Science and Public Policy, 4400 University Drive, MSN 5F2, Fairfax, VA, 22030
2 - George Mason University, 4400 University Drive MSN 5F2, Fairfax, VA, 22030, USA

low-copy nuclear markers;
microfluidic PCR-based target enrichment;
seasonally dry tropical forest.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 30, Biogeography I
Location: 203/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
Time: 3:00 PM
Number: 30007
Abstract ID:217
Candidate for Awards:None

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