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Phylogeny and systematic of Bromelia L. (Bromeliaceae – Bromelioideae) with Brazilian Cerrado species emphasis

Raquel Fernandes Monteiro (Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil)

Bromelia, consprising 63 species with a very difficult delimitation, is the one of the earlier divergent genus of all Bromelioideae phylogenies. However its generic and subgeneric delimitation like the relationship of the species have never been tested. Thus, the aim of the my PhD project is to perform the phylogenetic analysis of the whole Bromelia genus based on morphological and molecular (DNA cp and nr DNA), to elucidate the relationship of species and test their infrageneric classification. Also to do a taxonomic revision of the monophyletic group distributed in the Cerrado, through classical methods in taxonomy, performing field trips to local occurrence of the genus, especially in the center west of Brazil, original descriptions, visit the herbaria collections and morphological analysis, prioritizing the typus.

The support of IAPT Research Grant Program in Plant Systematics was specially important for my PhD because with this grant I could do very significant field trips to collect samples of Bromelia in Brazil. So, with the IAPT support my phylogenetic and systematic revision studies will be richer and more trustable.

The field trips were made on Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará e Maranhão. This financial support has covered food, lodging and part of transportation. It was possible to include new locations in the database and to take key species for this work.

All the collected material was included in the herbarium RB. Likewise, plant tissues were collected and dried on silica gel for extraction of DNA of species and sequencing for molecular phylogenetic analyzes. Specimens were incorporated in ex situ collection of the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden. All species found during the collections were photographed and points of GPS were marked. The specimens collected were identified and complete descriptions of each taxa are being constructed.

At this moment I am working into the molecular lab doing all DNA extractions and PCRs to perform a robust phylogenetic analyzes. This part is in colaboration with Prof. Dr. Georg Zizka from Botanik Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Institut Ökologie, Evolution und Diversität Goethe-Universität, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. At the same time, I am visiting the european herbarium to make the taxonomic revision of Cerrado’s group and to complete all the proposed goals in my PhD project. Inside these importante herbarium I am analyzing the types collections specimens to better define limits of the species and the complexes, and also doing the identification of materials deposited. In fact, the distribution of the genus inside Brazil was poorly known until this project has begun, principally because of the difficulty to collect them.

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