The conference was held at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. RBGE, that has hosted the PLoSWA symposium on two previous occasions, in 1970 and 1985. RBGE is a world-renowned centre for plant science and education. Lectures, meetings and workshops took place in the main science buildings of the garden.
The PLoSWA conference (Plant Life of South West Asia) in Edinburgh 1- 5 July 2013 was attended by 123 participants from more than 30 different countries and comprised 14 Symposia with 72 lectures as well as 51 poster presentations. I have met and talked to many new scientists from different countries.
It was a very interesting conference and I had the chance to discuss my work with people who have an interest in phylogeny, plant taxonomy and floristic studies. I have strengthened my relationships with other plant taxonomists.
I have participated in the PLoSWA conference through an oral presentation titled:
Using DNA sequences to investigate the phylogenetic relationships between Arbutus pavarii endemic in Libya and the closely related Canary Island and Mediterranean species.
Using DNA sequences to investigate the phylogenetic relationships between Arbutus pavarii endemic in Libya and the closely related Canary Island and Mediterranean species
Ahmed Gawhari1, Stephen Jury1 & Alastair Culham1
1School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading UK
ABSTRACT. Four species of genus Arbutus occur in the Canary Islands and Mediterranean region from North Africa to the Middle East. Arbutus pavarii endemic to Libya has not always been treated as a distinct species. The approach of DNA barcoding to establish whether the species is distinct in DNA sequence from it is Old-World congeners in Canary Islands and Mediterranean has been combined with phylogenetic placement of the Arbutus of Libya. All Arbutus specimens were sampling from herbarium of the University of Reading (RNG). Amplified by PCR and sequenced the DNA fragments of regions psbA-trnH and internal transcribed spacer ITS. Bayesian Inference has been used for phylogenetic placement of Arbutus pavarii and the presence, or absence, of a barcoding gap for the species is discussed.
– To find the Phylogenetic placement of the Arbutus pavarii.
– Discover if Arbutus pavarii is distinct species.
– Contribute barcode sequences of Arbutus pavarii to the library of barcodes.
The aim is to answer the questions:
a) Is there an endemic Arbutus species in Libya ?
b) What are its species relationships?
For more information on the conference see web site: http://ploswa8.org.uk/conference-programme/
See the book of abstracts page: 30: https://twitter.com/hashtag/ploswa8?src=hash
During the conference I had the chance to update myself on a range of other botanical research work being conducted and to better understand how my research fits in. There was a lot of interest in my talk and curiosity about the status of this endemic species or variant. It is clear that modern taxonomy generally is using the instersection of DNA data and morphological study to better delimit species and it is good to see such approaches used in my home region..
I got far more from the meeting than simply a certificate of attendance.