The study of evolution and speciation in plant groups, compiling data from molecular phylogeny, morphology, ecology and geographic distribution, is still new to endemic or extremely diverse groups of the Brazilian flora, such as genera Nematanthus and Codonanthe (Gesneriaceae). This proposal aims to understand the mechanisms that act to the reproductive isolation in the clade that unites the two genera and to assess the extent of hybridization between sympatric species. For this, data from floral morphology and pollination will be collected and used to verify if morphological differences between genera reflect the pollination system and whether these differences contribute to reproductive isolation, by pollinator preference. The literature suggests that floral biology and pollination by bees and hummingbirds within these genera have greater influence on reproductive isolation than phenology and geographic distribution. Although the record of at least five species or morphotypes with intermediate characteristics, and differences between the molecular markers suggest natural hybridization between sympatric species of the genus Nematanthus. The introgression between species will be studied by nuclear and plastid molecular markers and genes of anthocyanin in order to understand if the community of pollinators between sympatric species favors reproductive isolation or contributes to hybridization in Nematanthus. Our expectation is to confirm pollination by bees within the genus Codonanthe and the clade of white flowers of Nematanthus and to register greater introgression between sympatric species that share pollinators.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: