Dancing with Thistles
ID: 613 / 369
Proposed Symposium Title: Dancing with Thistles
Affiliations: Botanic Institute of Barcelona, Spain
Our research in tribe Cardueae was a challenge from the beginning for several reasons. Field collections faced many challenges due to the geographical distribution of thistles in complicated places. When we started investigating the group, our Botanic Institute in Barcelona was a very small research center with limited resources for studying such a large tribe. Obtaining an accurate classification was particularly challenging due to the thistle-like architecture of many genera, which is shared by many unrelated genera of the tribe. Development of molecular methods, from single-region DNA sequencing in the nineties to high-throughput sequencing in recent times, provided the tools for unraveling the true phylogeny of the tribe and allowed us to define a new classification. The new subtribal scheme in twelve subtribes was anticipated by morphological evidence, and molecular data confirmed that the system is robust. This presentation summarizes thirty years of wrestling with this fascinating group of plants.