Molecular phylogenetics of the palm tribe Geonomeae, and differentiation of Geonoma macrostachys western Amazonian varieties

Julissa Roncal Calderon, Florida International University


Phylogenetic analyses were performed on six genera and 46 species of the Neotropical palm tribe Geonomeae. The analyses were based on two low copy nuclear DNA sequences from the genes encoding phosphoribulokinase and RNA polymerase II. The basal node of the tribe was polytomous. Pholidostachys formed a monophyletic group. The currently accepted genera Calyptronoma and Calyptrogyne formed a well-supported clade with Calyptronoma resolved as paraphyletic to Calyptrogyne. Geonoma formed a strongly supported monophyletic group consisting of two main clades. An evaluation of the genetic distinctness between Geonoma macrostachys varieties at a local and regional scale using inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers was performed. Clustering, ordination, and AMOVA suggested a lack of genetic distinctness between varieties at the regional level. A hierarchical AMOVA revealed that the genetic diversity mainly lies among the four localities sampled. A significant genetic differentiation between sympatric varieties occurred in one locality only. The current taxonomy of G. macrostachys, which recognizes only one species, was therefore supported. The preferred habitat of sympatric G. macrostachys varieties with respect to edaphic, topographic, and light factors in three Peruvian lowland forests was studied. The two varieties were mostly encountered in different physiographically defined habitats, with variety acaulis occurring more often in floodplain forest and variety macrostachys in the tierra firme. Comparison of means tests revealed that nine to eleven of the 16 environmental variables were significantly different between varieties. Edaphic factors, mainly soil texture and K content, were better contributors than light conditions to distinguish the habitats occupied by the two varieties in all three study sites. It is concluded that habitat differentiation plays a role in the coexistence of these closely related species taxa.

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Recommended Citation

Roncal Calderon, Julissa, "Molecular phylogenetics of the palm tribe Geonomeae, and differentiation of Geonoma macrostachys western Amazonian varieties" (2005). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3190961.