An investigation of Asteliaceae (Asparagales) systematics based on whole chloroplast genome sequencing.
Declan P. Blackburn (S)Room 2: T2
Declan P. Blackburn (The University of Melbourne); Harvey K. Orel (The University of Melbourne); Rachael M. Fowler (The University of Melbourne); Kerry A. Ford (Allan Herbarium, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research); Joanne L. Birch (The University of Melbourne).
The Asteliaceae (Asparagales) are a relatively small but diverse family comprised of three genera and 36 species with an Austral-Pacific distribution. The largest genus, Astelia (30 species), is a perennial, rhizomatous herb, and contains species that are dominant in a diverse array of habitats, e.g. Astelia alpina in alpine herb fields in Australia and Astelia menziesiana in the understory of montane rainforest in Hawai’i. While subgeneric relationships are well understood, species relationships within three of the four subgenera are not well resolved. In addition, while A. nervosa (New Zealand) and A. menziesiana (Hawaii) are noted as widespread species complexes, their monophyly has not been tested and accurate circumscription of infraspecific taxa has not been possible based on morphological data or sequence data from a small number of chloroplast and nuclear markers. Field work was conducted throughout New Zealand to document the morphological and habitat diversity of Astelia nervosa across its geographic range. The Asteliaceae phylogeny, including 101 in-group taxa, is inferred based on Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference analyses of whole chloroplast genome data. Preliminary results will be presented that are informative of species relationships and provide a framework for understanding the diversity within recognised Astelia species complexes.