Revisionary Insights: understanding evolution and adaptive potential in the Neotropical Costaceae

ID: 613 / 279

Category: Abstract

Track: Pending

Proposed Symposium Title: Revisionary Insights: understanding evolution and adaptive potential in the Neotropical Costaceae


Chelsea D. Specht1, Jacob B. Landis1, Eugenio Valderrama1, Paul J.M. Maas2, Hiltje Maas van de Kamer2, David Skinner3, Thiago Andre4, Julianna Harden1

Affiliations: 1 Section of Plant Biology and the L.H. Bailey Hortorium, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA 2 Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, NL 3 Le Jardin Ombragé, Tallahassee, USA 4 Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, Brazil


Selection together with variation in floral traits can act to mold floral form, often driven by a plant's predominant or most effective pollinators. To investigate the evolution of traits associated with pollination, we developed a phylogenetic framework for evaluating tempo and mode of pollination shifts across the genus Costus L., known for its evolutionary toggle between traits related to bee and bird pollination. In addition, we performed whole genome resequencing for a subset of closely related species with contrasting pollination syndromes to test for the role of candidate genes in evolutionary shifts in pollinators. The combination of phylogenetic and comparative genomic results indicate that multiple shifts in pollination strategy have occurred across Costus, and elucidate various genes that may be responsible for these shifts.  The presence of previously undetected signatures of hybridization between distantly related taxa confounds phylogenetic results while also highlighting cryptic potential for adaptive shifts in pollinator efficacy. Traits related to pollination syndromes are strongly correlated and have been gained and lost in concert several times throughout the evolution of the genus. Evidence suggests an interplay of pollination success with other selective pressures shaping the evolution of this neotropical lineage. These results indicate an interplay of phylogenetic history with adaptive evolution leading to the diversification of pollination-associated traits in Neotropical Costaceae.

Symposia selection: 162, ,

Key words: Costaceae, monograph, systematics, pollination, floral traits, adaptive evolution, Neotropical, diversification