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Phylogeny of Bignonia L. (Bignonieae, Bignoniaceae)

Grant number: 09/07087-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2009
Effective date (End): July 31, 2011
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Plant Taxonomy
Principal Investigator:Lúcia Garcez Lohmann
Grantee:Alexandre Rizzo Zuntini
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Phylogenies, or evolutionary trees, had become major tools for taxonomy in the 21st century. The phylogenies have been widely used in many different areas. Taxonomists use the phylogeny to sustain taxonomic reviews and to reveal cryptic species. Conservation Biology incorporates phylogenetic indexes in analysis of prioritary areas for conservation. Biogeography works with historical and macroecological events to explain the current species distribution. Through phylogenies it is possible to test hypothesis of adaptation, exaptation and coevolution and also use Comparative Method or analyse evolutionary tendencies. The Bignoniaceae includes 840 species and 81 genera and it has been the focus of recent phylogenetic studies. Specifically, a phylogeny of the whole family, the tribes Bignonieae e Crescentieae, and the genera Incarvillea and Tabebuia. Bignonieae, the biggest tribe of Bignoniaceae is mainly composed of tendril lianas and includes Bignonia L., which current circunscription includes 28 species previously placed in the genera: Clytostoma Miers ex Bureau, Cydista Bureau, Macranthisiphon Bureau ex K. Schum., Mussatia Bureau ex Baill., Phryganocydia Mart. ex Bureau, Roentgenia Urb, Potamoganus Sandwith, Saritaea Dugand, e the species Tanaecium nocturnum (Barb. Rodr.) Bureau & K. Schum.). The objective of this project is to reconstruct the phylogeny of Bignonia, which represents the first step for evolutionary, ecological and biogeographic studies in this group. The wide distribution of Bignonia allied to high diversification of reproductive characters turns it into a particularly interesting group for studies of the processes related to diversification of tropical plants. (AU)

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