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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Ford-Werntz, Donna I. [1], Dever, Rodney  [1].

Taxonomy of the Allium cernuum Complex in Appalachia.

The Allium cernuum complex in Appalachia potentially consists of three taxa: A. cernuum Roth (nodding onion), A. allegheniense Small (Allegheny onion) and A. oxyphilum Wherry (acid-loving onion). Some botanists have held that these onions are three distinct species whereas others regarded the putative taxa as synonyms of Allium cernuum. This issue presents a conservation concern as A. oxyphilum and A. allegheniense are both considered rare and possibly threatened in West Virginia and Virginia. This research is clarifying the ambiguous classification of these onions by assessing variation in their morphology, ecology, anatomy, and cytology. A survey of 852 specimens from 18 eastern U.S. herbaria is being conducted to reveal locations of populations. Characters such as the size of leaves, scapes, pedicels, tepals and capsules are being examined in addition to shapes and colors of the perianth. Morphological variation will be evaluated using a multivariate statistical analysis. The vascular anatomy can be useful diagnostically in Allium. Scape and leaf sections from field collections are being investigated for bundle number and pattern. To detect cytological variation among localities, somatic chromosomes are being examined in root tip cells. A common garden experiment, done in the summer of 2009, established that the observed morphological variation is primarily genotypic.

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1 - West Virginia University , Biology, 53 Campus Drive, Life Sciences Building, Dept. of Biology, Morgantown, WV, 26506-6057, USA

common garden

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PSY039
Abstract ID:479

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