Glennon, Kelsey , Church, Sheri A. .
Genetic variation and potential hybridization of the endangered Roan Mountain bluet, Houstonia montana.
Hybridization potentially increases genetic variation which can in turn lead to adaptive evolution and divergence. This allows hybridization to play a prominent role in plant evolution and speciation. However, hybridization can also disrupt co-adapted gene complexes and be detrimental to a species survival. Understanding the risk of extinction due to hybridization is an important factor when attempting recovery of endangered plants. The endangered species Houstonia montana may be at risk of extinction through hybridization with its widespread sister taxon, Houstonia purpurea. Morphological intermediates between the two species exist in several locations. Understanding whether this morphological variation is due to hybridization will aid in conservation efforts of the Roan Mountain bluet.
In this study I used amplified fragment length polymorphisms to explore intra- and interspecific patterns of genetic variation in Houstonia montana and Houstonia purpurea. Using sixteen primer pairs, fragment patterns were evaluated to determine the variation within and among populations. Analyses were also conducted to determine if any individuals had hybrid origins. The results show that the remaining populations of Houstonia montana are structured and distinct from the widespread Houstonia purpurea. However, several morphological intermediates between the two species were identified as hybrids in the genetic analyses. This suggests that while hybridization is rare between these species, the endangered species does successfully cross with its widespread sister species. Further analyses into the direction of hybridization and levels of introgression can be used to influence monitoring and conservation plans for the endangered species.
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1 - George Washington University, Department of Biological Sciences, Lisner Hall 340 2023 G St NW, Washington, DC, 20052
2 - George Washington University, Department of Biological Sciences, Lisner Hall 340 2023 G St NW, Washington, DC, 20052, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Lake Huron/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 3:30 PM