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1.  Oil-producing flowers within the Iridoideae (Iridaceae): evolutionary trends in the flowers of the New World genera 
Annals of Botany  2012;110(3):713-729.
Background and Aims
Oil-producing flowers related to oil-bee pollination are a major innovation in Neotropical and Mexican Iridaceae. In this study, phylogenetic relationships were investigated among a wide array of New World genera of the tribes Sisyrinchieae, Trimezieae and Tigridieae (Iridaceae: Iridoideae) and the evolution of floral glandular structures, which are predominantly trichomal elaiophores, was examined in relation to the diversification of New World Iridaceae.
Methods
Phylogenetic analyses based on seven molecular markers obtained from 97 species were conducted to produce the first extensive phylogeny of the New World tribes of subfamily Iridoideae. The resulting phylogenetic hypothesis was used to trace the evolutionary history of glandular structures present in the flowers of numerous species in each tribe. Hypotheses of differential diversification rates among lineages were also investigated using both topological and Binary-State Speciation and Extinction methods.
Key Results and Conclusions
Floral glandular structures and especially trichomal elaiophores evolved multiple times independently in the American tribes of Iridoideae. The distribution pattern of species displaying glandular trichomes across the phylogeny reveals lability in the pollination system and suggests that these structures may have played a significant role in the diversification of the Iridoideae on the American continent.
doi:10.1093/aob/mcs134
PMCID: PMC3400458  PMID: 22782239
Elaiophores; glandular trichomes; Iridoideae; nectaries; pollination systems; Sisyrinchieae; Tigridieae; Trimezieae
2.  Genetic variation in polyploid forage grass: Assessing the molecular genetic variability in the Paspalum genus 
BMC Genetics  2013;14:50.
Background
Paspalum (Poaceae) is an important genus of the tribe Paniceae, which includes several species of economic importance for foraging, turf and ornamental purposes, and has a complex taxonomical classification. Because of the widespread interest in several species of this genus, many accessions have been conserved in germplasm banks and distributed throughout various countries around the world, mainly for the purposes of cultivar development and cytogenetic studies. Correct identification of germplasms and quantification of their variability are necessary for the proper development of conservation and breeding programs. Evaluation of microsatellite markers in different species of Paspalum conserved in a germplasm bank allowed assessment of the genetic differences among them and assisted in their proper botanical classification.
Results
Seventeen new polymorphic microsatellites were developed for Paspalum atratum Swallen and Paspalum notatum Flüggé, twelve of which were transferred to 35 Paspalum species and used to evaluate their variability. Variable degrees of polymorphism were observed within the species. Based on distance-based methods and a Bayesian clustering approach, the accessions were divided into three main species groups, two of which corresponded to the previously described Plicatula and Notata Paspalum groups. In more accurate analyses of P. notatum accessions, the genetic variation that was evaluated used thirty simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci and revealed seven distinct genetic groups and a correspondence of these groups to the three botanical varieties of the species (P. notatum var. notatum, P. notatum var. saurae and P. notatum var. latiflorum).
Conclusions
The molecular genetic approach employed in this study was able to distinguish many of the different taxa examined, except for species that belong to the Plicatula group, which has historically been recognized as a highly complex group. Our molecular genetic approach represents a valuable tool for species identification in the initial assessment of germplasm as well as for characterization, conservation and successful species hybridization.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-14-50
PMCID: PMC3682885  PMID: 23759066
Cross-species amplification; Genetic diversity; Germplasm evaluation; Microsatellite markers; Paspalum botanical varieties
3.  Studies on diversity and evolution of Iridaceae species in southern Brazil 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2012;35(4 Suppl):1027-1035.
Plants of the family Iridaceae are well represented in the grassland vegetation of southern Brazil, occurring in the Pampa and Atlantic Forest biomes. Nevertheless, little is known about the taxonomy and evolution of Iridaceae species in southern Brazil. The main goal of this review is to compile published information about South American Iridaceae, and to discuss the evolution and genetic diversity of the family presenting our own research data in the light of the published literature. The main focus is on the genera Calydorea, Cypella, Herbertia, and Sisyrinchium. Aspects of reproductive system and of pollinator attraction are also discussed.
PMCID: PMC3571435  PMID: 23412701
cytotaxonomy; molecular phylogenetics; Iridoideae; population genetics; diversity
4.  Evolution of oil-producing trichomes in Sisyrinchium (Iridaceae): insights from the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the genus 
Annals of Botany  2011;107(8):1287-1312.
Background and Aims
Sisyrinchium (Iridaceae: Iridoideae: Sisyrinchieae) is one of the largest, most widespread and most taxonomically complex genera in Iridaceae, with all species except one native to the American continent. Phylogenetic relationships within the genus were investigated and the evolution of oil-producing structures related to specialized oil-bee pollination examined.
Methods
Phylogenetic analyses based on eight molecular markers obtained from 101 Sisyrinchium accessions representing 85 species were conducted in the first extensive phylogenetic analysis of the genus. Total evidence analyses confirmed the monophyly of the genus and retrieved nine major clades weakly connected to the subdivisions previously recognized. The resulting phylogenetic hypothesis was used to reconstruct biogeographical patterns, and to trace the evolutionary origin of glandular trichomes present in the flowers of several species.
Key Results and Conclusions
Glandular trichomes evolved three times independently in the genus. In two cases, these glandular trichomes are oil-secreting, suggesting that the corresponding flowers might be pollinated by oil-bees. Biogeographical patterns indicate expansions from Central America and the northern Andes to the subandean ranges between Chile and Argentina and to the extended area of the Paraná river basin. The distribution of oil-flower species across the phylogenetic trees suggests that oil-producing trichomes may have played a key role in the diversification of the genus, a hypothesis that requires future testing.
doi:10.1093/aob/mcr080
PMCID: PMC3101146  PMID: 21527419
Oil-bee pollination; glandular trichomes; elaiophores; lipids; phylogeography; Sisyrinchieae; Olsynium; Solenomelus
5.  Population genetic structure of Sisyrinchium micranthum Cav. (Iridaceae) in Itapuã State Park, Southern Brazil 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2012;35(1):99-105.
Sisyrinchium micranthum Cav. is a member of the family Iridaceae, which is distributed over the American continent. In Brazil, this species is found, not only in disturbed areas and coastal regions, but is also very common in urban centers, such as public parks, during the spring. Chromosome counts for North American specimens are 2n = 32 and 2n = 48, whereas in southern Brazil, there is a polyploidy series with three chromosome numbers, 2n = 16, 2n = 32, and 2n = 48. Population analyses using DNA molecular markers are inexistent for this species, in spite of its wide distribution and morphological variation. To study the genetic population structure of S. micranthum, five natural populations were accessed in a conservation park within the Atlantic Rain Forest Biome in southern Brazil. Here, the chromosome numbers 2n = 16 and 2n = 48 had already been described. Molecular analysis showed that the populations are highly structured with low gene flow among them. The population with 2n = 48 was genetically less variable than and distinct from the other populations. Population genetics in relation to cytogenetic data provided new insights regarding the genetic diversification and mating system of S. micranthum.
PMCID: PMC3313523  PMID: 22481881
Iridaceae; ISSR-PCR; mating system; population genetics; Sisyrinchium micranthum

Results 1-5 (5)