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Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega


Jacquemontia reclinata House (Convolvulaceae) is a federally-listed endangered species endemic to coastal strand habitat of southeastern Florida, from Palm Beach to Miami-Dade counties. Although J. reclinata is currently defined as a species, its taxonomic distinctness has never been analyzed using phylogenetic evidence. In order to assess the evolutionary distinctness of J. reclinata and identify its closest relatives, internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions within nuclear ribosomal DNA were sequenced, and the sequence data was used to reconstruct a phylogeny of Jacquemontia. The study included the three putative relatives of J. reclinata and all other species within Jacquemontia known to occur in the Greater Antilles and Bahamas, except for three species. Results concur with previous morphological studies, which suggest that J. reclinata is closely related to J. cayensis Britton, J. curtisii Peter, and J. havanensis Urban. These three species and J. reclinata form an unresolved clade. Therefore, it is not certain which of these Caribbean species is sister to J. reclinata. The lack of resolution within the clade that includes J. reclinata implies that the taxa within the clade are evolutionarily similar. Future taxonomic studies of J. reclinata should focus in resolving relationships within the Jacquemontia reclinata clade.



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