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Slider Images from: Cycad Biology and Conservation: The 9th International Conference on Cycad Biology.
Edited by Nan Li, Dennis Wm. Stevenson, and M. Patrick Griffith.
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We carried out phylogenetic analyses on Dioon Lindl. based on RFLPs from the chloroplast genome, morphology, two introns of the low-copy nuclear gene S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine hydrolase, and the 5.8S/ITS2 regions of the nuclear ribosomal DNA. Our goals were threefold: (1) to investigate previous hypotheses suggesting that the genus is composed of two major groups (i.e., the Edule Clade and the Spinulosum Clade), (2) to test a current biogeographic hypothesis suggesting that there is general northward pattern of migration and speciation, and (3) to determine the utility of nuclear ribosomal genes for phylogenetic reconstructions in the genus. All analyses, except those inferred from the 5.8S/ITS2 data set, supported the division of the genus into two major clades. Our study suggests that speciation events may have followed a south to north expansion track, with the four species occurring north of the Mexican Transverse Volcanic Mountain Range (i.e., D. angustifolium, D. edule, D. sonorense, and D. tomasellii) being more recent than those from southern latitudes. Our research agrees with other published studies suggesting that nuclear ribosomal genes can be problematic for phylogenetic reconstructions. A separate phylogenetic study based on 5.8S/ITS2 nucleotide sequences produced from this study and available from GenBank revealed that different accessions from any single species did not cluster together.
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Andrew Vovides was born in London, England in 1944. His parents, both Cypriots, emigrated to London in the mid- 1930s. His early education took place in London and he took engineering diplomas whilst working as an optical instruments engineer for a London based firm. He later took a position as a laboratory technician at the Botany department at Birkbeck College, London University. He obtained an Honors Botany Degree at the University of Wales, Cardiff and in 1975 he emigrated with his Mexican wife Victoria to Mexico, where he took up a research position at the lnstituto de Investigaciones Sobre Recursos Bioricos (IIREB) under Arturo Gomez-Pompa at Xalapa. His first project with Arturo was the foundation of the Jardin Bocinico Francisco Javier Clavijero, inaugurated on 17 February 1977. In 1978, Andrew had a three-month internship at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew where he worked with the Deputy Curator of Living Collections, Ian Beyer, and his staff on the intricacies of running a botanic garden. Andrew was also a founding member and first secretary of the Mexican Association of Botanic Gardens. Andrew became interested in cycads when Arturo Gomez-Pompa invited him to collaborate with John Rces on the Florade Veracruz treatment for Zarniaceae. Andrew was becoming acquainted with Mexican cycads and studying for a Ph.D. on the biology of Mexican cycads at the Botany Dept. at Cardiff. During his course of graduate studies he built up the Mexican National Cycad Collection at the Garden and obtained his Ph.D. in 1988 at a time when IIREB was closed and the Garden passed under the administration of the present lnstituto de Ecologia, A.C. He served a one-year post-doctoral internship at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden with Knut Norstog working on aspects of cycad pollination. Andrew has held scientific positions as a research botanist, botanic garden director and curator at Instituto de Ecologia, and serves as a member IUCN Cycad Specialist Group. He has produced over 100 scientifi Andrew Peter Vovides's Author Page
Dennis William Stevenson holds a Ph.D. University of California, Davis 1975. He is Vice President for Laboratory Research at The New York Botanical Garden and Editor, Botanical Review. His expertise is in Cycads, Monocots, and Genomics. His major research interests in the past few years have focused upon the evolution and classification of the Cycadales (cycads) and their placement in seed plant phylogeny. He is conducting research on various facets of the biology of the Cycadales and Gnetales. These facets include reproductive biology, anatomy, cytology, molecular systematics, as well as taxonomic monographs and treatments of these groups for various floras being prepared for the neotropics. Another major research interest is the systematics of the monocots, particularly, the Commelinidae. The topics under investigation include developmental floral morphology, embryology, and inflorescence structure because this basic information is incomplete or unknown for many of these families. These data are being combined with gene sequence data to generate phylogenetic hypothesis on the origin and classification of the monocots. Dennis Wm. Stevenson's Author Page