Lasiopetaleae (Malvaceae)

Aim: Phylogenomics Stage 2
Project initiation: Aug 2021
Project lead:  Kelly Shepherd | Western Australian Herbarium, Biodiversity and Conservation Science, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

Reproduced with permission from Kelly Shepherd

Project description:

Kelly Shepherd and Carol Wilkins from the Western Australian Herbarium (@Science_DBCA) are teaming up with new recruit Ben Anderson, along with Todd McLay from the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (@RBG_Victoria) and Bioplatforms Australia (@BioplatformsAus, @PlantsAus) to utilise Angiosperm 353 data to investigate phylogenetic and taxonomic relationships within the Lasiopetaleae tribe (Malvaceae). They will be focusing on testing generic boundaries among the closely allied Lasiopetalum, Lysiosepalum, Thomasia, and Guichenotia and testing species-level questions.

A lack of taxonomic resolution is a significant conservation management issue for this group, as 50% of the Western Australian taxa are recognised as Priority species of conservation concern, with a number listed as Declared Rare. Also, several potentially new Phrase-named taxa are yet to be taxonomically resolved. It is hoped that target sequence capture will provide critical data to clarify monophyletic genera and resolve taxonomic relationships, which will in turn support better-informed conservation decisions for this stunning plant group.