Molecular Phylogenetics in Lotus Section Pedrosia and Rhycnholotus

Sections Pedrosia and Rhyncholotus comprise a group of about 40 species distributed in the Macaronesia region. The group inhabits a wide range of habitats from coastal lowland scrub at sea level to high mountain pine forest (above 2000 m). The group is particularly diverse and with a high percentage on endemics in the Canary Islands and in Morocco. Despite their diversity in habitats, flower morphology and vegetative features, the group is fairly uniform on standard loci used in phylogenetic analyses, thus current molecular phylogenetic analyses of the group lack enough resolution.
This is mainly due to an incomplete sampling of the group and because the group represents a recent island radiation with low levels of genetic variation. One of my goals in my research is to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships of the group using a combined approach with nuclear and chloroplast regions. Among the genes, I am including homologues of CYCLOIDEA, a gene that has been associated with flower symmetry and petal identity, and shifts in flower morphology in other legumes.

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