Abstract Detail


Amarasinghe, Prabha [1], Joshi, Sneha [2], Page, Navendu [3], Wijedasa, Lahiru S.  [4], Stone, Robert Douglas [5], Kathriarachchi, Hashendra [6], Merello, Mary [7], Judd, Walter [8], Kodandaramaiah, Ullasa [2], Cellinese, Nico [9].

A global perspective on Memecylon (Melastomataceae): Insights into biogeography and character evolution.

A woody plant group, Memecylon (Melastomataceae), is a large clade (> 350 species) occupying diverse forest habitats in the Old World tropics and offering opportunities to understand the historical factors responsible for the current distribution and assembly of paleotropical forests. However, its divergence time, biogeography, and character evolution remain uninvestigated. Here, we present a phylogenomic analysis of Memecylon using low-copy nuclear genes to provide insight into its evolution at a global scale. Divergence time for the Memecylon clade was estimated within the context of the larger Melastomataceae, and it was used as the basis to elucidate the historical biogeography and character evolution of Memecylon. Ancestral range reconstruction supports an African origin of Memecylon in the Eocene and subsequent crossing of the Indian and Pacific Oceans multiple times via long‚Äźdistance dispersal. Morphological data exhibited high levels of homoplasy but also showed that several characters were phylogenetically informative. Together, these investigations provide insights into speciation and diversity of Memecylon at a broad scale.

1 - Florida Museum of Natural History, Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
2 - Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Thiruvananthapuram, India
3 - Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India
4 - Integrated Tropical Peat Research Program, NUS Environmental Research , National University of Singapore, Singapore 117411, ConservationLinks Pvt. Ltd., 100 Commonwealth Crescent, #08-80, Singapore 140100, Singapore
5 - School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
6 - Department of Plant Sciences, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka
7 - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA
8 - Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
9 - Florida Museum of Natural History,, Biodiversity Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA

character evolution
divergence times

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: SYS3, Systematics III: Cooley Award presentations
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Time: 11:00 AM
Number: SYS3005
Abstract ID:459
Candidate for Awards:George R. Cooley Award

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