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Phylogenetic and geographic distribution of nickel hyperaccumulation in neotropical Psychotria

Abstract : Premise Hyperaccumulation of heavy metals in plants has never been documented from Central America or Mexico. Psychotria grandis, P. costivenia, and P. glomerata (Rubiaceae) have been reported to hyperaccumulate nickel in the Greater Antilles, but they also occur widely across the neotropics. The goals of this research were to investigate the geographic distribution of hyperaccumulation in these species and explore the phylogenetic distribution of hyperaccumulation in this clade by testing related species. Methods Portable x‐ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy was used to analyze 565 specimens representing eight species of Psychotria from the Missouri Botanical Garden herbarium. Results Nickel hyperaccumulation was found in specimens of Psychotria costivenia ranging from Mexico to Costa Rica and in specimens of P. grandis from Guatemala to Ecuador and Venezuela. Among related species, nickel hyperaccumulation is reported for the first time in P. lorenciana and P. papantlensis, but no evidence of hyperaccumulation was found in P. clivorum, P. flava, or P. pleuropoda. Previous reports of hyperaccumulation in P. glomerata appear to be erroneous, resulting from taxonomic synonymy and specimen misidentification. Conclusions Hyperaccumulation of nickel by Psychotria is now known to occur widely from southern Mexico through Central America to northwestern South America, including some areas not known to have ultramafic soils. Novel aspects of this research include the successful prediction of new hyperaccumulator species based on molecular phylogeny, use of XRF technology to nondestructively obtain elemental data from herbarium specimens, and documentation of previously unknown areas of ultramafic or nickel‐rich soil based on such data.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 10:02:36 AM
Last modification on : Monday, March 8, 2021 - 12:14:02 PM

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Grace Mccartha, Charlotte Taylor, Antony van der Ent, Guillaume Echevarria, Dulce Navarrete Gutiérrez, et al.. Phylogenetic and geographic distribution of nickel hyperaccumulation in neotropical Psychotria. American Journal of Botany, Botanical Society of America, 2019, 106 (10), pp.1377-1385. ⟨10.1002/ajb2.1362⟩. ⟨hal-03099315⟩