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Abstract Detail

Ericaceae: Systematics, Ecology and Evolution

Gunther, Kyle [1], Rebman, Jon [2], Vanderplank, Sula [3], Orduno Cruz, Andres [4], Flores-Renteria, Lluvia [5].

Evolutionary history and population demographics of the narrowly distributed Mission Manzanita (Xylococcus bicolor).

California and the Baja peninsula are home to high levels of floral abundance, diversity, and endemism. This region’s heterogenous landscape and climate have been a buffer against extinction, allowing species to shift their distributions with a naturally changing environment. However, anthropogenic effects are heavily impacting these regions (e.g., habitat loss, fragmentation, rapid climate change, and invasive species), and many of these endemic species are becoming threatened. One such endemic species is the Mission Manzanita (Xylococcus bicolor), an ecologically and ethnobotanically important shrub, and the sole member of a monotypic genus within Ericaceae and the subfamily Arbutoideae. Xylococcus bicolor is narrowly distributed from the middle of Baja California to the Los Angeles area, and has been predicted to lose up to 88% of its habitat due to climate change and development. However, little is known about its evolutionary history and population demographics, which could be useful information for conservation purposes. In order to fill this gap, we will study these aspects from a genetic perspective. Using a genome skimming technique to reveal thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms, we will determine the phylogenetic placement of X. bicolor with respect to members of Arbutoideae. Furthermore, we will analyze the genetic diversity, structure, gene flow, effective population sizes, and divergence times of our sample populations. Finally, an ecological niche model will be generated to predict where X. bicolor was distributed during the Last Glacial Maximum, as well as future shifts in response to climate change. Population-level samples have been collected encompassing most of X. bicolor distribution, DNA extractions have been performed, and sequencing is underway. We hope that our results will provide insight into the evolutionary history, current demographics, and future of X. bicolor, while simultaneously providing useful information for land management and conservation efforts.

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1 - 21022 Los Alisos Blvd #1723, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, 92688, United States
2 - San Diego Natural History Museum, Botany, 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA, 92101
3 - 2114 Diamond St, San Diego, CA, 92109, United States
4 - Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste , C.P, Independencia y, Paseo de Los Eucaliptos n, Guerrero Negro, BCS, 23940, Mexico
5 - 4319 Yale Ave, La Mesa, CA, 91942, United States

Xylococcus bicolor
evolutionary history
population genetics

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: CO06, Ericaceae: Systematics, Ecology and Evolution
Location: Tucson D/Starr Pass
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Time: 9:30 AM
Number: CO06007
Abstract ID:618
Candidate for Awards:Genetics Section Poster Award

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