Systematics Section / ASPT
Kron, Kathleen A. .
Complex relationships among the southeastern azaleas (Rhododendron section Pentanthera) revealed by analyses of chloroplast and nuclear sequence data.
The deciduous azaleas in Rhododendron section Pentanthera are most diverse in the southeastern U.S. where 14 of the 17 recognized species occur. Important in the horticultural trade, deciduous azaleas are known for their variability in flower color and have been hybridized since the early nineteen century. Previous morphological and molecular cladistic analyses indicated that the Asian species (R. molle, is sister to the remaining 16 members of the section. This study uses parsimony and Bayesian analyses of three chloroplast regions (matK, ndhF, trnS-G) and four nuclear regions (ITS, leafyi2, rpb2i3, waxy 9-11) to investigate relationships among 17 species (including the recently described R. eastmanii). R. molle was used to root the trees. Individual analyses indicated conflict between trees generated from nuclear data. Chloroplast data showed little variability among species and resolution was poor for most of the species. These results suggest that hybridization and introgression have likely played a significant role in the evolution of the deciduous azaleas in the southeastern U.S.
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1 - Wake Forest University, Department of Biology, PO Box 7325, 226 Winston Hall, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27109-7325, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Lake Erie/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 9:00 AM