Alicia Agudo
  • PhD student
  • Speciality:

    Sistemática y Biología Reproductiva del género Anacyclus.

  • Geographical region:Mediterranean region
  • Line of research: Plant evolutionary biology
  • Professional profile

    Evolution in Anacyclus L. (Anthemideae, Compositae). Analysis of A. clavatus (Desf.) Pers. and A. valentinus L. contact zone.

    Hibrid zones constitute an ideal framework to investigate evolutionary processes and mechanisms among the organisms integrating them, especially gene flow and selective preasure on phenotypic traits. Within the genus Anacyclus, there is a species bearing radiate capitula (A. clavatus) that cohabits with another showing discoid capitula (A. valentinus) along the Western Mediterranean coast region. These mixed populations present a high phenotypic diversity related with number and length of radiate flowers, a trait possibly implicated in pollinators attraction. Despite Anacyclus is a small circunmediterranean genus (13 species aprox.), there is no any complete phylogeny to enclose phylogeographic studies, neither any molecular data supporting the putative hybrid origin of some of its species. The main goals of this project are: 1) To elaborate a phylogenetic hypothesis for the genus Anacyclus; 2) To reconstruct phylogeographic relationships of Anacyclus in Western Mediterranean; 3) To determine the structure of contact areas between A. clavatus and A. valentinus and to assess if any model of hibrid zones fits; 4) To determine reproductive systems and success for both species; and 5) To assess the extant of selective preasure towards one of the phenotypes within mixed populations. For these purposes, analyses of fingerprinting molecular markers (such as microsatellites), nuclear and plastidial genes sequences, as well as analysis of quantitative phenotypic traits in a wide and representative sampling in pure and mixed populations of both species, all Western Mediterranean species, and all species in the genus, will be carried on. Besides, to explore their reproductive systems and success, we will analyse type of fecundation, flower visitors, achene dispersal, and germination success in both A. clavatus and A. valentinus.

    Selected Publications
  • Álvarez, I.; Agudo, A.B.; Herrero, A.; Torices, R. 2020. The Mendelian inheritance of gynomonoecy: insights from Anacyclus hybridizing species. American Journal of Botany 107(1):116-125.
  • Agudo, A.B.; Torices, R.; Loureiro, J.; Castro, S.; Castro,M.; Álvarez, I. 2019. Genome size variation in a hybridizing diploid species complex in anacyclus (Asteraceae: Anthemideae). International Journal of Plant Sciences [in press].
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