Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Bruce Cochrane, Ph.D.


Florida, cpDNA, Haplotype, Chloroplast capture, Evolutionarily significant unit


The genus Chrysopsis (Asteraceae) contains eleven species native to Florida, including the newly described species, Chrysopsis delaneyi. Populations of this endemic plant species inhabit the Lake Wales Ridge (LWR) and the Atlantic Ridge (AR) of the Florida peninsula. Differences in morphology have been demonstrated within C. delaneyi, based on their locations. My objective was to determine the relationships between the LWR and the AR populations by analysis of chloroplast sequence and nuclear sequence variation. Approximately 160 samples of C. delaneyi and its sister species C. scabrella have been collected from fifteen sites throughout Florida. Six single base differences were detected, one insertion, and one variable short duplication. A total of four haplotypes (i.e.: groups that have different combinations of polymorphisms) have been found. For the most part, one haplotype is found in LWR populations and is indistinguishable from that found in C. scabrella. Another haplotype is found primarily in AR populations and is more similar to haplotypes found in the more distantly related C. highlandsensis and C. floridana. One haplotype is found within populations of C. scabrella. The last haplotype in one AR population contains two polymorphic loci, one site is representative of the AR populations, and the other site is that of the LWR populations. Only one mixed population has been found, at the northern end of the AR range. These results are not consistent with taxonomic relationships inferred from morphological characteristics; hence the results suggest that chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) relationships may be the consequence of one or more instances of chloroplast capture.