About Us
Conservation & Horticulture
Public Education
Graduate Study
International Cooperation
Annual Reports
Publications & Papers
Visit XTBG
XTBG Seminar
Open Positions
4th XSBN Symposium
PFS-Tropical Asia
   Location:Home > Research > Research Progress
Researchers explore species delimitation of Engelhardia in tropical and subtropical Asia
Author: Zhang Canyu
Update time: 2020-08-13
Text Size: A A A

In recent years, modern methods for species delimitation have provided biologists with an increased ability to assess diversity more accurately. However, species delimitation still remains a challenge worldwide, especially in biodiversity hotspots such as tropical and subtropical Asia. 

In a study published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) explored species delimitation of Engelhardia, a genus of deciduous or evergreen trees in the walnut family (Juglandaceae, in tropical and subtropical Asia. 

The researchers used an integrative method based on multiple-locus genetic data and morphological analyses to delimit seven species within Engelhardia. 

In total, 716 individuals in 71 populations were genotyped using five chloroplast regions, one nuclear DNA region (nrITS), and 11 nuclear simple sequence repeats (nSSR). Phylogenetic trees were constructed and relationships among species were assessed. Molecular analyses were then combined with 14 morphological characteristics of 720 specimens to further explore the species boundaries of Engelhardia. 

Four species (EhainanensisEapoensisEserrata, and Eroxburghiana) retain their current taxonomic status. Efenzelii is resurrected from Eroxburghiana, and Espicata is expanded to become a variable species complex to include Espicata var. acerifloraEspicata var. colebrookeana, and Erigida. Finally, Eserrata var. cambodica is re-ranked as an independent species. 

“Our study highlights the importance of mutual utilization and promotion of morphological and molecular data. We also suggest that the recognition of infraspecific taxa should be done with caution in order to simplify classifications and prevent confusion,” said Prof. LI Jie, principal investigator of the study. 





LI Jie  Ph.D Principal Investigator 

Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China    

E-mail:  jieli@xtbg.ac.cn 

  Appendix Download
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China
Copyright XTBG 2005-2014 Powered by XTBG Information Center