Project properties

Title Morphometrics and phylogeny of the wild tulip, Tulipa sylvestris
Group Biosystematics Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-36
Supervisor(s) Dr. Anastasia Stefanaki, Dr. Freek Bakker
Examiner(s) Prof. dr. Eric Schranz
Contact info
dates are flexible
Begin date 2022/01/01
End date 2023/01/01
Description Tulip taxonomy is complex and different treatments do not agree on the delimitation of species and subspecies. In this thesis project, you will focus on Tulipa sylvestris, a small yellow tulip commonly called the ‘wild tulip’ or bostulp in Dutch. This species was introduced to northern Europe from the Mediterranean region in the sixteenth century and became widely naturalized. Its taxonomy is perplexed due to morphological diversity, polyploidy and naturalization of cultivated plants. Three subspecies are tentatively accepted, but this distinction is not satisfactory: subsp. australis is a diploid native in the Mediterranean up to central Asia, subsp. sylvestris is a tetraploid naturalized in northern Europe, and subsp. primulina is a diploid endemic to Algeria and Morocco. The taxonomy and subspecific classification of Tulipa sylvestris will be assessed with traditional and geometric morphometrics based on floral and vegetative characters and by constructing a phylogeny of T. sylvestris and allied species. For the morphometry, images of herbarium specimens will be used and preferably also fresh material that will be collected in spring in Dutch gardens. For the phylogenetic reconstruction, you will compile sequences from GenBank and BOLD and compare outcomes with a recently reconstructed phylogeny based on genomic repeat profiling
Used skills morphometrics, statistical analysis, phylogenetics.

Requirements Being familiar with R and R studio. Recommended course: Comparative Biology and Systematics (BIS-30306).