Thompson, Kim , Culley, Theresa M. , Lentz, David .
Ancient Practices and Diverse Habitats: Effects on the Genetic Diversity and Structure of a Tropical Fruit and Timber Tree, Manilkara zapota.
Manilkara zapota(L.) van Royen is a neotropical tree that has historical and contemporary value as an ecological, economic and scientific resource, yet its genetic characteristics have not been well studied. The goals of this project were to (1) quantify levels of genetic variation in populations of Manilkara zapota from the PetÃ©n region of Guatemala, and (2) describe how that genetic variation is structured among populations from diverse habitat types. The hypothesis is that selective cultivation of M. zapota trees by the ancient Maya has led to overall reduced levels of genetic diversity and isolation by habitat has contributed to significant population structuring in modern stands. If selective cultivation has led to reduced diversity, levels of genetic variation in forest populations at an ancient Maya site, Tikal, Guatemala, will be reduced compared to other neotropical trees. Limited gene flow between populations in varying habitats (swamps compared to upland areas) will have created substantial genetic structure within the population in Tikal. Levels of genetic diversity will be analyzed within and among populations using microsatellites. Primers developed for a related species, Manilkara huberi, have successfully amplified microsatellites in Manilkara zapota. We expect to find low levels of polymorphism in microsatellites, compared to other neotropical trees, signifying a reduction in genetic variation. We expect to find that genetic structuring, measured as θ, will be greater than 0 if there has been reduced gene flow between populations. This study will contribute to our understanding of the genetic structure of a highly valued tropical tree and provide insights into agroforestry practices of the ancient Maya.
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1 - University of Cincinnati, Biological Sciences, Cincinnati, OH, 45221-0006
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Hall A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 5:30 PM