Hale, Amanda M. , Groff, Paul A. , Whitlock, Barbara A. .
Genetic diversity in two congeneric wildflowers, Gentianopsis simplex and G. holopetala (Gentianaceae), from the mountains of Western North America.
Mountain ecosystems, areas of high species richness and endemism, are significantly threatened by global climate change. High elevation, wet meadows are no exception to this general trend, and today they represent isolated habitat islands harboring remnant populations that once experienced much greater levels of gene flow. We examined levels of genetic diversity in Gentianopsis simplex and G. holopetala, two species of wildflowers that are restricted to wet, montane meadows in the western United States. Although placed in the same genus, these two species show different patterns of growth. Gentianopsis simplex is clonal via root-borne shoots, however, there is no evidence of clonal growth in G. holopetala, contrary to published reports. To test hypotheses on the effects of clonality on genetic diversity, we collected samples from more than 400 shoots from 20 populations throughout their range. We measured genetic diversity within and between meadows using nuclear AFLP markers to 1) reconstruct the evolutionary history of isolated populations; 2) compare levels of genetic diversity and population structure in these two species that differ in clonality; and 3) examine the extent of clonal individuals in G. simplex. We compare the results from this study to the cpDNA sequence-based phylogeny and discuss the implications of these data for the long-term viability of these species.
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1 - Texas Christian University, Department of Biology, 2800 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, TX, 76129, USA
2 - University of Miami, Department of Biology, Coral Gables, FL, 33124, USA
mountain wet meadows
western North America.
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Hall A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 5:30 PM