Faculté des sciences

Molecular phylogenetics of the Brazilian giant bromeliads (Alcantarea, Bromeliaceae): implications for morphological evolution and biogeography

Versieux, Leonardo M. ; Barbará, Thelma ; Wanderley, Maria das Graças Lapa ; Calvente, Alice ; Fay, Michael F. ; Lexer, Christian

In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 2012, p. -

The genus Alcantarea comprises near 30 species endemic to rocky outcrops from eastern Brazil. Most species are ornamental and several are threatened due to habitat loss and over collection. In this paper we examine the phylogenetics of Alcantarea and its relationship with the Brazilian members of Vriesea, a genus of which Alcantarea has been treated as a subgenus. We discuss the morphological... Plus

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    Summary
    The genus Alcantarea comprises near 30 species endemic to rocky outcrops from eastern Brazil. Most species are ornamental and several are threatened due to habitat loss and over collection. In this paper we examine the phylogenetics of Alcantarea and its relationship with the Brazilian members of Vriesea, a genus of which Alcantarea has been treated as a subgenus. We discuss the morphological evolution of the stamen position and its implication for pollination and the occurrence of Alcantarea in the Espinhaço mountain range rocky savanna-like habitat vegetation. DNA sequence data derived from two plastid markers (trnK-rps16, trnC-petN) and from a low copy nuclear gene (Floricaula/Leafy) together with 20 nuclear microsatellite loci were the data source to perform analyses and construct phylogenetic and Neighbor Joining trees for the genus. Alcantarea is well supported as monophyletic in both Bayesian and parsimony analyses, but sections of Vriesea, represented by the eastern Brazilian species, appear paraphyletic. Microsatellites delimit geographically isolated species groups. Nevertheless individuals belonging to a single species may appear related to distinct clusters of species, suggesting that hybridization and/or homoplasy and/or incomplete lineage sorting are also influencing the analysis based on such markers and may be the reasons for some unexpected results. Alcantarea brasiliana is hypothesized as putative hybrid between A. imperialis and A. geniculata. Spreading stamens, a morphological floral characteristic assumed to be related to Chiropterophily, apparently evolved multiple times within the genus, and invasion of rocky savanna-like habitat vegetation by Atlantic rainforest ancestors seems to have occurred multiple times as well.