Speciation in co-evolved taxa: sexually-deceptive orchids and their mycorrhizal symbionts

Sexually-deceptive orchid being pollinated by a wasp. Photo: Rod Peakall

Description

The proposed PhD research program will use the relationship between the orchid genera Chiloglottis and Arthrochilus and their obligate mycorrhizae to examine speciation in co-evolved taxa. It has been suggested the evolution of the recently diverged Chiloglottis may be attributable to its association with a particular mycorrhizal species however evolution of this sexually-deceptive orchid genus is known to be influenced by a species-specific pollinator relationships.

This project will therefore investigate speciation across three tiers of co-evolution. Using the genus Arthrochilus as a test system, comparisons of phylogenies and ecological, biological and biogeographical information will be used to investigate this hypothesis.

Updated:  29 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB