Term of Award

Fall 2007

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Michelle Zjhra

Committee Member 1

Lorenza Beati

Committee Member 2

James Hutcheon

Abstract

On Madagascar, Bignoniaceae is represented by tribes Coleeae (4 genera/58 species) and Tecomeae (4 genera/15 species). Species of Coleeae occur in assemblages of sympatric, locally endemic species. The purpose of this study was to explore the phylogenetic relationships within Coleeae. In order to do so, techniques such as PCR by using universal primers for waxy nuclear gene, agarose electrophoresis, cloning and sequencing were performed. A total of 26 taxa were successfully amplified. Sequences were analyzed using three different phylogenetic programs (Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analysis) resulting in various phylogenetic trees. Main conclusions drawn from this work are: 1. waxy is a good molecular marker to resolve relationships within Coleeae; 2. ITS and waxy resolved main clades similarly showing monophyly of Colea and Rhodocolea. Since conservation requires reliable information on species identity, a good phylogenetic assessment is of great importance in determining taxonomic status of organisms.

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