Phylogenetic Analysis of Iliamna (Malvaceae) Using the Internal Transcribed Spacer Region
Bodo Slotta, Tracey A.
MetadataShow full item record
The genus Iliamna Greene has a taxonomically complex history. Since its desciption in 1906, the genus was not recognized for some time, several species were initially placed into other genera, and the species status of a few was questioned. Today, eight species of Iliamna are recognized. Six species are located in western North America and two are found isolated to the east. Species in Iliamna are very similar morphologically with only a few characters distinguishing several as separate entities. The need for systematic study became apparent since all but one species are considered rare or endangered. Also, the differentiation between two endangered species, I. corei and I. remota, was unclear in a previous study using random amplified polymorphic DNA fragments. Of the western species, four overlap in distribution (I. crandallii, I grandi ora, I. longisepala, and I. rivularis) and their recognition as separate species has been questioned. The focus of this study was to develop a phylogeny for Iliamna using sequences from the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of the nuclear ribosomal RNA genes in order to determine its biogeographical and evolutionary history. Cladistic analysis was performed and the resulting phylogeny is presented. The ITS data provide new insights in the origination of the genus and its distribution. In Iliamna, the ITS region is 677 base pairs long with 120 sites providing information in the formation of phylogenetic trees. Iliamna forms a well-supported clade distinct from related genera and is monophyletic. Three well-supported groups are formed. One contains representatives from the Pacific Northwest. Another contains all of the remaining species with the third clade nested therein. This last clade contains the two eastern species, I. corei and I. remota, but there is not enough variability to support the divergence of these taxa as distinct species. There is also not sufficient variability in the ITS region to identify the western species I. crandallii, I. grandi ora, I. longisepala and I. rivularis as distinct entities.
- Masters Theses