JSU Student Symposium 2022

Cryptic Hybridization in the Temperate Bamboos: Is Pleioblastus Simonii a Species of Hybrid Origin?

Title

Cryptic Hybridization in the Temperate Bamboos: Is Pleioblastus Simonii a Species of Hybrid Origin?

Date

2-16-2022

Faculty Mentor

Jimmy Triplett, Biology

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Submission Type

Paper

Location

3:15-3:25pm | Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor

Description

Japanese river bamboo (Pleioblastus simonii, kawadake) is an ecologically important species of temperate bamboo native to Japan. This species is widely known and historically important in Japanese rural farm life. Based on morphological data, Japanese river bamboo is recognized as a major lineage in genus Pleioblastus (section Medakea). However, recent studies suggest that Japanese river bamboo may be a species resulting from previously undetected hybridization (also known as cryptic hybridization). Bamboos in Pleioblastus exhibit overlapping variation in leaf and stem characteristics, making them hard to identify on the basis of morphology alone (a common problem in plant taxonomy). Cryptic hybridization is a potential explanation for this problem. The role of hybridization in natural plant populations has been studied since the 1950s, however little is known about this phenomenon in the evolution of bamboos. The objective of this study is to analyze molecular data (AFLP and nDNA) to test the hypothesis that P. simonii is a cryptic hybrid. Current data provide compelling yet conditional evidence in support of this hypothesis, while also suggesting that ongoing introgression and diversification has obscured that ancestry. We will discuss various analytical techniques from population genetics and phylogenetics that are being used to shed light on this problem. Results of this study provide an example of reticulate evolution in the origin of plant diversity and help reveal why molecular data is an important tool for taxonomic identification.

Keywords

student research, biology

Rights

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Disciplines

Biology

Cryptic Hybridization in the Temperate Bamboos: Is Pleioblastus Simonii a Species of Hybrid Origin?

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