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Title: Evolution and biochemical diversity of Mapania (Cyperaceae) from southeast Asia
Author: Shabdin, Zinnirah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2752 949X
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2012
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Mapania Aublet and allies form one of the two branches at the base of the Cyperaceae phylogenetic tree. This group of mostly forest-dwelling sedges is widely distributed throughout the tropics. Many Mopania occur in rainforests at low altitudes, a habitat that is threatened globally. Many are also endemic, narrowly distributed and of conservation concern. Several Mapanio species are known to be used in basket and mat-making, while others are known to local people for medicinal purposes such as a fever remedy. The greatest diversity in the genus occurs in Borneo with 25 species (of an -estimated 84 worldwide), of which 12 are endemic. Knowledge of the genus is limited due to lack of detailed studies. Identification of Mapania species has been problematic due to insufficient discontinuous characters, making identification based only on vegetative characters unfeasible. The Asian species are particularly difficult in this respect. Studies based on morphological characters have been inconclusive, due to the problem of finding sufficient differences to distinguish species. In this study, delimitation on Southeast Asian species, which involve two sections, Thoracostachyum and Pandanaphyllum, were examined. To address this, DNA sequence data from three cpDNA regions (trnl-F, atpH-F and psbAtrnH) from 15 species were used. Bayesian analysis of the concatenated gene regions shows a better-resolved phylogeny than previous analyses based on morphological data. The base of Mopanio lineage is not fully resolved and consists of three branches; M. boncona, M. multiflora and the rest of the Maponia. In addition, the occurrence of flavonoids in Mapania was also investigated. A total of six flavonoids and two phenolic acids were found. Proanthocyanidins were only detected in two varieties of M. cuspidata. They were not present in other species of Maponia and also not in the third variety of M. cuspidato, var. angustifolia. This correlates well with the molecular data where M. cuspidata var. cuspidata and M. cuspidato var. petiolata are closely related while var. angustl/ofia is segregated considerably from the proanthocyanidin-containing varieties in the trees. On the basis of the molecular and chemical results, M. cuspidata var. angustijoJio was proposed as a new species, M. sp. 3. Both morphological and chemical characters were mapped on the molecular t ree. The morphological characters chosen show a change from outgroups Hypofytrum nemorum and Paromapania radians to the ingroup, particularly in inflorescence and fruit characters. Chemical characters on the other hand, showed a scattered pattern of distribution on the tree. Several new species were provisionally described in this thesis based on the Phylogenetic species concept. Two newly discovered species, M. multiflora and M. sapuaniana, have been submitted for review, while another three species are proposed as new, pending further investigation on more specimens.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available