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Tuesday, April 24 • 11:15am - 11:35am
Population Genetic Structure And Hybridization Within Western North Carolina Sarracenia (Pitcher Plants)

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The Sarracenia (pitcher plant) genus, a group of carnivorous perennial herbs, includes many species of conservation concern. Sarracenia species can hybridize when in sympatry, with seemingly few pre-zygotic barriers to cross-fertilization. Two pitcher plant species, S. jonesii (mountain sweet pitcher plant) and S. purpurea var. montana (mountain purple pitcher plant), are native to western North Carolina bogs, and others, including S. flava (yellow pitcher plant) and S. leucophylla (white pitcher plant), have been introduced to the region. In this study, we examined the genetic composition of phenotypically hybrid plants and S. pupurea var. montana individuals from a site in which these four species co-occur. Plants were non-destructively sampled, DNA was extracted, and samples were PCR-amplified at 6 (hybrid) or 8 (S. purpurea var. montana) microsatellite loci; after fragment analysis, microsatellite lengths were quantified in Geneious. Calculations of hybrid indices showed that all individuals contained S. jonesii and S. purpurea var. montana DNA, and that the contribution of S. purpurea var. montana DNA to hybrid plants ranged from 20 - 40%. The latter result is of particular concern, as S. purpurea var. montana is being considered for federal listing. Genetic diversity indices for S. purpurea var. montana individuals showed low levels of allelic and genotypic diversity. Ongoing experiments are investigating genetic diversity within and among S. jonesii and S. purpurea var. montana sites in western North Carolina, to better understand population dynamics and prioritize conservation work.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 11:15am - 11:35am PDT
014 Zeis Hall

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