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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  2. Abstract— The genus Solidago represents a taxonomically challenging group due to its sheer number of species, putative hybridization, polyploidy, and shallow genetic divergence among species. Here we use a dataset obtained exclusively from herbarium specimens to evaluate the status of Solidago ulmifolia var. palmeri , a morphologically subtle taxon potentially confined to Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri. A multivariate analysis of both discrete and continuous morphological data revealed no clear distinction between S. ulmifolia var. palmeri and Solidago ulmifolia var. ulmifolia . Solidago ulmifolia var. palmeri ’s status was also assessed with a phylogenomic and SNP clustering analysis of data generated with the “Angiosperms353” probe kit. Neither analysis supported Solidago ulmifolia var. palmeri as a distinct taxon, and we suggest that this name should be discarded. The status of Solidago delicatula (formerly known as Solidago ulmifolia var. microphylla ) was also assessed. Both morphological and phylogenetic analyses supported the species status of S. delicatula and we suggest maintaining this species at its current rank. These results highlight the utility of the Angiosperms353 probe kit, both with herbarium tissue and at lower taxonomic levels. Indeed, this is the first study to utilize this kit to identify genetic groups within a species. 
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  3. Premise

    Although autopolyploidy is common among dominant Great Plains grasses, the distribution of cytotypes within a given species is typically poorly understood. This study aims to establish the geographic distribution of cytotypes within buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides) and to assess whether individual cytotypes have differing ecological tolerances.


    A range‐wide set of 578B. dactyloidesindividuals was obtained through field collecting and sampling from herbarium specimens. The cytotype of each sample was estimated by determining allele numbers at 13 simple sequence repeat loci, a strategy that was assessed by comparing estimated to known cytotype in 79 chromosome‐counted samples. Ecological differentiation between the dominant tetraploid and hexaploid cytotypes was assessed with analyses of macroclimatic variables.


    Simple sequence repeat variation accurately estimated cytotype in 89% of samples from which a chromosome count had been obtained. Applying this approach to samples of unknown ploidy established that diploids and pentaploids are rare, with the common tetraploid and hexaploid cytotypes generally occurring in sites to the north/west (tetraploid) or south/east (hexaploid) portions of the species range. BothMANOVAand niche modeling approaches identified significant but subtle differences in macroclimatic conditions at the set of locations occupied by these two dominant cytotypes.


    Incorporating chromosome count vouchers and cytotype‐estimated herbarium records allowed us to perform the largest study of cytotype niche differentiation to date. Buffalograss cytotypes differ greatly in frequency, the common tetraploid and hexaploid cytotypes are non‐randomly distributed, and these two cytotypes are subtly ecologically differentiated.

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  4. Premise

    The ability to sequence genome‐scale data from herbarium specimens would allow for the economical development of data sets with broad taxonomic and geographic sampling that would otherwise not be possible. Here, we evaluate the utility of a basic double‐digest restriction site–associatedDNAsequencing (ddRADseq) protocol usingDNAs from four genera extracted from both silica‐dried and herbarium tissue.


    DNAs fromDraba,Boechera,Solidago, andIlexwere processed with a ddRADseq protocol. The effects ofDNAdegradation, taxon, and specimen age were assessed.


    Although taxon, preservation method, and specimen age affected data recovery, large phylogenetically informative data sets were obtained from the majority of samples.


    These results suggest that herbarium samples can be incorporated into ddRADseq project designs, and that specimen age can be used as a rapid on‐site guide for sample choice. The detailed protocol we provide will allow users to pursue herbarium‐based ddRADseq projects that minimize the expenses associated with fieldwork and sample evaluation.

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