Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Traditional taxonomic studies ofMentha longifolia (European horsemint) have utilized geographical and morphological criteria to classify and define the species. This has led to the recognition of 22 different M longifolia subspecies from Europe, the Middle East, central Asia, and southern Africa. Using nucleotide sequences of chloroplast and nuclear DNA regions of 23 accessions of M. longifolia, we assessed levels of genetic divergence to determine if discrete groupings exist. The results ofthis phylogeographic study indicate that there is sufficient variation among samples to warrant splitting of M. longifolia into several different taxa. For example, two subspecies from South Africa share distinct mutations that are divergent from European and Middle Eastern samples. Additionally, there appear to be two zones of hybridization between distinctly European and Middle Eastern samples.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Walker Rutledge

Disciplines

Life Sciences

Included in

Life Sciences Commons

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