Goals of the Proposed Research

Lamiaceae offer excellent opportunities to investigate patterns of diversification on a global scale and to link these patterns to shifts in distribution, ecology, chemistry, and floral morphology. Research is needed to answer key questions such as when and where the family diversified and how key morphological and chemical characters shaped lineage diversification. Since the last explicit attempt to resolve relationships in Lamiaceae using DNA data (Wagstaff et al. 1998), powerful new sequencing techniques have been developed, and we have a much clearer understanding of the taxon sampling needed to resolve relationships in Lamiaceae as well as Lamiales. Importantly, no family-wide phylogenetic analyses using nuclear genes have yet been attempted for the family. Toward a definitive and inclusive phylogeny, we propose to integrate phylogenetic relationships, historical biogeography, patterns of diversification, and patterns of character evolution in Lamiaceae.

Our objectives are to:

  1. Determine the placement of Lamiaceae in Lamiales;
  2. Circumscribe the major clades of mints and determine their interrelationships, annotate the Open Tree of Life, and make requisite taxonomic changes;
  3. Estimate the timing of key evolutionary events and rates of diversification;
  4. Link diversification with shifts in biogeography;
  5. Link diversification with WGDs and shifts in chemistry and morphology; identify possible key innovations, using new data for inferring WGD, a new pipeline to extract chemical data from the literature, and analysis of floral characters;
  6. Establish Lamiaceae as a prototype for integrating informatics and phylogenetics resources; and
  7. Coordinate a Mint Phylogeny Working Group (MPWG) to facilitate interpretation of results.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith