ZEREGA (1,2), NYREE J.CONARD*, DIANE RAGONE (3), AND TIMOTHY J. MOTLEY (1). 1) The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Program for Molecular Systematics Studies, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458, 2) Biology Department, New York University, 100 Washington Square East, NY, NY 10003, 3) National Tropical Botanical Garden, 3530, Papalina Road, Kalaheo, Kauai, HI 96741. - Artocarpus phylogenetics and AFLP genetic fingerprinting of breadfruit cultivars Artocarpus altilis.
The genus Artocarpus (Moraceae) includes approximately 50 species
native to the tropics of Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Many of the
species are utilized locally for their fruit, seeds, and/or timber
while two are cultivated circumtropically for their fruit and seeds
(breadfruit, A. altilis and jackfruit, A. heterophyllus). Despite the
economic importance of Artocarpus species, no phylogenetic analysis of
the genus has been undertaken. A phylogenetic hypothesis would be
useful for identifying close relatives of the cultivated species in
the genus, studying character evolution, and for setting an
evolutionary framework for more detailed species level studies such as
the work on breadfruit presented here. Breadfruit is a staple crop
harvested for either its starchy fruit or proteinaceous seeds. It has
been cultivated and improved upon by human selection for millennia in
the Pacific Islands, and today hundreds of seedless and seeded
cultivars exist. Up to three possible species have been distinguished
by various authors to represent the breadfruit. Artocarpus altilis
(Parkinson) Fosberg (synonym: A. communis) has been used to encompass
a wide range of morphological variation. However, this variation has
also been considered to include two additional species, A. camansi and
A. mariannensis based on fruit surface and leaf characters.
Morphological evidence for hybridization between A. altilis and A.
mariannensis also exists from Micronesia where their ranges overlap. A
preliminary Artocarpus phylogeny has been generated based on parsimony
analysis of nucleotide sequence data from the internal transcribed
spacers (ITS1 and 2). The results indicate that Artocarpus is a
monophyletic group. The analysis also supports the recognition of
three distinct breadfruit species and provides molecular support for
hybridization between A. altilis and A. mariannensis. Further
investigations into breadfruit relationships are also in progress
using AFLPs (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms) to address
biogeographic, taxonomic, and conservation issues.
Key words: AFLP, Artocarpus, biogeography, breadfruit, Moraceae, Oceania