Nepal, Madhav P. , Larson, Gary E. .
Natural hybridization in Morus: Is an exotic mulberry threatening the native one?
Hybridization of native species with closely related exotic species can promote rapid spread of the exotic species and pose a threat to the native species. Two species of mulberries: the native red mulberry (Morus rubra) and the Asian exotic white mulberry (M. alba) co-occur in the eastern North America, and the northwestern boundary of the native red mulberry has not yet been clarified. The native M. rubra is believed to be threatened by hybridization with the rapidly spreading exotic white mulberry. The main objectives of this study are to 1) determine the natural geographical range of native red mulberry at its northwestern boundary, and 2) assess hybridization between the two species using DNA markers. This study includes field observations in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota, and incorporates herbarium and molecular work done in the laboratory. Investigation of the northwestern boundary of M. rubra, analysis of morphological features, and molecular work on populations in IA, NE, MN and SD are underway. The data presented will include microsatellites and RAPD markers used in assessing hybridization between the two species at Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS, Kansas), and preliminary data from NE, IA, MN and SD. Both RAPD and microsatellite evidence of hybridization between the two species at KPBS are congruent and show that there is gene flow between the two species. Similar results are predicted for other populations. This study will clarify the geographical range of the red mulberry near its northwestern boundary and yield insight into the effects of hybridization on the evolution of both mulberries.
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1 - South Dakota State University, Biology and Microbiology and South Dakota State University Herbarium (SDC), Brookings, SD, 57007, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: 555B/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 8:30 AM