Pitcairnia flammea occurs along the Atlantic forest from Santa Catarina to Espirito Santo. This species is sympatric with P. corcovadensis and P. albiflos in the city of Rio de Janeiro and is sympatric with P. deciduous cff . in the State of São Paulo. Previous studies report the sharing of plastid DNA between species P. flammea, P. corcovadensis and P. albiflos, indicating that these species undergo interspecific gene flow (hybridization / introgression) and/or may share some degree of ancestral polymorphism. In order to distinguish between ancestral polymorphism or recent hybridization/introgression, and to explore the patterns and consequences of interspecific gene flow between Pitcairnia's occuring in the rocky outcrops of the Atlantic Forest in this project we will use nuclear microsatellites markers. The objective of this project is to describe the genetic structure of a sympatric population of P. flammea, P. corcovadensis and P. albiflos, in Rio de Janeiro and a sympatric population of P. flammea and P. decidua cff. in São Paulo. We will test hypotheses about the evolutionary processes involved in populational differenciation and species cohesion, such as introgression, hybridization and genetic drift. Codominant nuclear microsatellites previously described in literature for different species of Bromeliaceae will be used. This way we can assess the extent of possible hybridization events and their genetic- evolutionary consequences for this group of Neotropical plants.
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