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April 2, 2021

12:00pm Zoom Meeting

John Chau
University of Washington and Filoli Center

" Integrating Collections and High-Throughput Sequencing to Study Evolution in Plant Species and Populations "

Co-Sponsored Seminar Presented by UCLA’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden

Collections work, including fieldwork and herbarium work to obtain and analyze samples of plant diversity, is essential for the study of evolutionary patterns. Genetic data, and advances in its acquisition from high-throughput sequencing, allow for the inference of evolutionary processes under a framework of molecular evolution theory. I present two studies in which I combined collections work and high-throughput sequencing to study plant evolution at the species and population levels. In one, I studied the phylogenetics of the genus Buddleja (Scrophulariaceae) and allied genera using targeted sequence capture and high-throughput sequencing. The group comprises 108 species of trees and shrubs with diverse reproductive morphologies distributed in tropical montane, subtropical, and warm-temperate regions of Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. Sequence data for hundreds of low-copy nuclear loci were used to infer species relationships, trait evolution, and biogeographic history. In the second study, I investigated spatial patterns in the population genetics of plants on the relatively undisturbed and biologically unique sub-Antarctic islands, focusing on taxa in Azorella (Apiaceae) and Acaena (Rosaceae), using microsatellites and sequence data from restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq). Spatial patterns in genetic diversity, genetic structure, and gene flow were compared in populations on islands with different topographies and geologic histories and in species with different dispersal syndromes.

Host: Victoria Sork