Patterns of DNA Sequence Variation in Plastid Genomes of Species Pairs between Eastern Asia and Eastern North America: An Example From Tulip Trees (Liriodendron)

Student Author(s)

Mark Stukel

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Jianhua Li

Document Type


Event Date



There exist some species pairs between major continents such as alligators and tulip trees between eastern Asia and eastern North America, and the intercontinental sister species were derived from a common ancestor and separately evolved generating morphological differences and genetic disparities. However, it is unclear about patterns of the disparity between the species at the genome level; for example, are the differences present mostly in introns, intergenic spacers, or protein coding genes? Are there positive or negative selections on certain genes between the two sister species living in different habitats? In this study we obtained plastid genome sequences from multiple individuals of the two tulip trees: Liriodendron tulipifera in eastern North America and L. chinense in China, and examined differences between the two species in various protein coding genes, introns, intergenic spacers, and ribosomal DNAs. Information from the comparative genomic analysis between the species pairs may shed light on the association of changes at gene level with adaptations to their environment.


This project is supported by the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.

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