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  • Thumbnail for PHYLOGENETICS AND SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY OF THE ORCHID GENUS ANDINIA SENSU LATO:  EVIDENCE FOR TAXONOMIC EXPANSION AND POLLINATION STRATEGIES
    PHYLOGENETICS AND SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY OF THE ORCHID GENUS ANDINIA SENSU LATO: EVIDENCE FOR TAXONOMIC EXPANSION AND POLLINATION STRATEGIES by Frank, Graham Sadlon

    Andinia Luer (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) is a small genus from the Andes mountains. Generic circumscriptions within the large subtribe Pleurothallidinae have been under debate as newer molecular evidence aims to correct polyphyletic genera that were created based on potentially homoplasious floral characteristics. Data from the nuclear internally transcribed spacer (ITS) gene region have previously indicated that Andinia should be expanded to include the pleurothallid genera Neooreophilus, Masdevalliantha, and Xenosia. In this study, phylogenetic trees were constructed from an expanded ITS data set, a new data set from the matK gene of the plastid genome, and composite of the two sequences. This broader phylogenetic analysis shows strong support for the monophyly of an expanded Andinia, reinforcing the original recommendation that Andinia be expanded. Additionally, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to image morphological floral characteristics from an array of species spanning the breadth of the analyzed taxa. SEM images suggest multiple pollinator attraction strategies within Andinia sensu lato. Many of the floral characteristics and inferred pollinator attraction strategies are evident elsewhere in Pleurothallidinae, supporting the idea that certain floral characteristics have evolved multiple times and are therefore unreliable for organizing Pleurothallidinae.