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Abstract Detail


Kellar, Chauncey [1].

Taxonomic Distinction Between Psoralidium tenuiflorum and P. floribundum (Fabaceae).

Clear delineations of species are important for conservation, land management, and ecological investigations. Individuals of the plant species Psoralidium tenuiflorum (wild-alfalfa; Fabaceae) vary quite broadly in morphological characters such as leaf and stem size and quantity of flowers produced per plant, and the variants grow in separate populations with little overlap. The great morphological variation has resulted in conflicting ways of reporting on the species in the scientific literature. Some researchers describe two varieties (or subspecies) of P. tenuiflorum and others divide the varieties into two separate species – P. tenuiflorum (smaller/fewer flowers) and P. floribundum (larger/more flowers). The question remains, “Should these morphological variants be distinguished as separate species?” My project involved two primary lines of investigation – morphological and phylogenetic. Over two summers, I collected multiple plant specimens and leaf tissue for DNA extractions from six sites across Nebraska (three in the southeast and three in the west). I measured and compared 11 morphological characters on 52 specimens. I sequenced 72 chloroplast and eight mitochondrial genes, plus three nuclear ribosomal regions using the next-generation Illumina sequencing platform. Combining these data with sequences from previous work and GenBank data, I estimated the phylogenetic placement of the two morphological variants of Psoralidium. They are closely related but definitely separated on the evolutionary tree. Both the phylogenies and the morphological comparisons revealed clear distinctions between the morphological variants, supporting their separation into two species, P. tenuiflorum and P. floribundum.

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1 - University of Nebraska at Omaha, Biology, 6001 dodge Street, Omaha, Ne, 68108, USA

P. tenuiflorum
P. floribundum

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Systematics Section/ASPT Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PSY024
Abstract ID:271
Candidate for Awards:None

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