Presenter's Name(s)

Brianna ArnoldFollow

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Michael Sundue

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Plant Biology

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Presentation Title

Se Llama Calaguala: Examining the Ethnobotanical History and Phylogeny of Phlebodium

Time

3:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Biological Sciences

Abstract

In markets throughout Mexico and Central America, various Phlebodium species are sold for medicinal purposes under the shared name “Calaguala”. Historically the name “Calaguala” has been applied to fern species that are both closely- and distantly-related to Phlebodium and that range geographically from the Peruvian Andes to parts of Florida and California. Our research aims to piece together the story of how the term “Calaguala” has been used and understood by locals, traditional healers, and field botanists throughout Latin America over time. This will be accomplished by analyzing ethnobotanical literature as well as historical botanical documents that date back to the early 1800’s. Apart from its ethnobotanical significance, Phlebodium is intriguing since there is discrepancy among the scientific community as to how many species of it exist. Our research tests two hypotheses that serve to clarify the phylogenetic relationships between potential Phlebodium species. Specifically we are interested in recognizing hybrid species and challenging the argument that P. araneosum is not a distinct species. We hypothesize that 1) a hybrid tetraploid, P. aureum, exists from a cross between P. pseudoaureum and P. decumanum and 2) P. araneosum is a distinct species rather than a subspecies of P. pseudoaureum. Our investigation may also provide insight into the existence of a fertile hybrid from crossing P. pseudoaureum and P. araneosum, thereby painting a fuller picture of the diversity of Phlebodium. The morphology and genomics of each species of interest will be analyzed through microscopic observation and Sanger sequencing.

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Se Llama Calaguala: Examining the Ethnobotanical History and Phylogeny of Phlebodium

In markets throughout Mexico and Central America, various Phlebodium species are sold for medicinal purposes under the shared name “Calaguala”. Historically the name “Calaguala” has been applied to fern species that are both closely- and distantly-related to Phlebodium and that range geographically from the Peruvian Andes to parts of Florida and California. Our research aims to piece together the story of how the term “Calaguala” has been used and understood by locals, traditional healers, and field botanists throughout Latin America over time. This will be accomplished by analyzing ethnobotanical literature as well as historical botanical documents that date back to the early 1800’s. Apart from its ethnobotanical significance, Phlebodium is intriguing since there is discrepancy among the scientific community as to how many species of it exist. Our research tests two hypotheses that serve to clarify the phylogenetic relationships between potential Phlebodium species. Specifically we are interested in recognizing hybrid species and challenging the argument that P. araneosum is not a distinct species. We hypothesize that 1) a hybrid tetraploid, P. aureum, exists from a cross between P. pseudoaureum and P. decumanum and 2) P. araneosum is a distinct species rather than a subspecies of P. pseudoaureum. Our investigation may also provide insight into the existence of a fertile hybrid from crossing P. pseudoaureum and P. araneosum, thereby painting a fuller picture of the diversity of Phlebodium. The morphology and genomics of each species of interest will be analyzed through microscopic observation and Sanger sequencing.