Plants are Cool Too - Hawaii and Schiedea
Chris Martine's series "Plants are Cool Too" presents a behind the scenes trip to Kauai to look at how the National Tropical Botanical Garden is leading the charge to save rare plants and protect tropical biodiversity. In a second episode, a group of passionate plant people are working to save some of the rarest plants on the archipelago -- and tell us why we need a new generation of biodiversity lovers to help battle the extinction crisis. Our own Warren Wagner is spotlighted in this series.
The genus Schiedea is a focus of the second video. Dr. Wagner explains that this is an NSF-funded collaborative project to capitalize on recent advances in molecular methods for study of evolution to allow for considerable enhanced detail of the evolution of one of the largest Hawaiian endemic lineages in the carnation family (Schiedea). This lineage exhibits spectacular diversity of reproductive systems has evolved among the 32 extant species. A combination of Genotyping by Sequencing (GBS) and sequence capture (Hyb-Seq) methods, will be used to construct a highly resolved phylogenetic tree of Schiedea and to identify sources of phylogenetic conflict (e.g., hybridization and incomplete lineage sorting). The phylogenetic hypotheses developed will be used to interpret this radiation with respect to several key reproductive traits, including (1) changes in breeding systems , (2) changes in pollination biology (What is the relationship between floral volatiles produced by Schiedea species and the moths attracted to them? Do species that evolved wind pollination and selfing produce fewer floral volatiles?), and (3) patterns of hybridization. The project includes a integrated program of conservation, outreach, training, and education, especially inclusion of undergrads, grad students, post docs and other collaborators.