Abstract Detail


Jordan, Chazz [1], Eserman, Lauren [2], Coffey, Emily [2], Brinkman, Becky [3].

Evolutionary Relationships in the Euglossine Bee Pollinated Orchid Genus Stanhopea.

The orchid genus Stanhopea is distributed throughout Mexico, Trinidad, and Central and South America. There are 66 species and 46 hybrids recognized in this genus. Currently, 90% of all Stanhopea species are held in living collections at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABG). The main goal of this project is to understand relationships among different species in this genus, which are unique because of their complex floral fragrances used in their obligate pollination relationship with euglossine bees.  Understanding species relationships is the key to seeing how these different species evolved through evolutionary time. Phylogenetic trees themselves are hypotheses about the evolutionary relatedness in this genus. The objective of this study was to analyze the genes rbcL, matK, ycf1, and intergenic spacers (trnH-psbA, rpoB-trnC, and trnG-trnS) in order to compare different species of Stanhopea, construct phylogenetic trees based on DNA sequence similarity using models of nucleotide evolution, and contribute DNA sequences to the Barcoding of Life Data Systems (BOLD) database. The basic genetic work is done through 1) DNA isolation, 2) Qubit, 3) PCR, 4) gel electrophoresis, 5) DNA sequencing, and 6) DNA sequence analysis through Geneious Prime software. In its entirety, this workflow is used to achieve one product, the sequencing of genes. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that both rbcL and matK display polytomies; however, matK resolved more species relationships compared to rbcL. Analysis is ongoing for ycf1 and the intergenic spacers. The most recently published Stanhopea phylogeny is based on the ITS gene as well as morphology and floral scent chemistry. The results of this study and future studies will enable researchers to identify specimens more accurately and can contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of the orchid genus Stanhopea and may identify co-evolutionary patterns with their bee pollinators. 

Related Links:
Mandel Lab website

1 - Atlanta Botanical Garden, Conservation and Research, 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30303, USA
2 - Atlanta Botanical Garden, Conservation & Research, 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30309, United States
3 - Atlanta Botanical Garden, Fuqua Orchid Center , 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30303, USA


Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Systematics Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM Time and date to be determined
Number: PSY013
Abstract ID:430
Candidate for Awards:None

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