Phylogenomics of Euterpe: The most hyperdominant palm group in Amazonia

SNIC 2022/6-332


SNIC Medium Storage

Principal Investigator:

Gabriel Damasco Do Vale


Göteborgs universitet

Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

10615: Evolutionary Biology



Euterpe is an economically important plant group that belongs to the largest palm subfamily Arecoideae, tribe Euterpeae, and comprises 7 species. Some species are hyperdominant in the Neotropics, and many constitute a good source of revenue. Although there has been an intensive effort to study the economical and medical properties of Euterpe species, little research has focused on elucidating its evolution and demographic history. We aim to provide a robust dated molecular phylogenetic hypothesis for Euterpe using the most comprehensive phylogenomic dataset to date. The genus biogeographic history will be inferred through an ancestral range analysis and reconstructed ancestral habitat shifts. The demographic history and population sizes of Euterpe lineages will be reconstructed through coalescent analysis that estimate size, divergence time, and migration rates of ancestral populations. Our results will: i) verify the monophyly of Euterpe species and elucidate species limits and intergeneric relationships; ii) interpret ancestral distribution and migration events among habitat types and biogeographic regions in light of geological events in the Neotropics, iii) investigate the historical demographic fluctuation of dominant and rare Euterpe lineages. We hypothesize that dominant lineages may not represent monophyletic clades (e.g. E. precatoria and E. oleracea). Dominant species with a wide geographic range will present relatively higher migration rates than rare species. Also, the population expansion of dominant lineages might have been triggered by the formation of the Amazonas drainage system around 11Mya.