Abstract Detail

Population Genetics/Genomics

CARDENAS, ANDREW [1], Kaur, Arshnoor [1], Fajardo, Jacklyn [1], Waselkov, Katherine [1].

Population Genetics of Two California Species of Checker Lily (Fritillaria).

Our project focuses on genetics of two local species of wildflowers called checker lilies, Fritillaria atropurpurea and F. pinetorum. Fritillaria is a genus that consists of approximately 140 perennial plants and is known for its huge genome (30-80 Gb of DNA). F. pinetorum is listed as rare by the California Fish and Wildlife Society. Both species are common at 1000-3200 meters elevation in the Western U.S., and both have underground bulbs with 2-5 scales. In F. pinetorum, the flowers are usually erect, whereas in F. atropurpurea the flowers are usually nodding. Another distinction between the two is whether the cauline (stem) leaves exceed the length of the inflorescence (F. pinetorum) or often do not (F. atropurpurea). Aside from these slight and inconsistent morphological differences, the species are generally found in different but contiguous parts of California.  Because these two species are morphologically very similar, we are specifically interested in seeing whether F. atropurpurea and F. pinetorum are the same or different species. Because of the large size of the nuclear genome in this group, we are instead utilizing the chloroplast DNA to answer this question. We are conducting DNA extractions, PCR, and gel electrophoresis to test primers for chloroplast regions, including chloroplast microsatellites, that have shown variation in Asian Fritillaria species. We have tested out a few different primers, and our results so far show that primers for the chloroplast region trnC-petN amplify well in our two species, and have enough variation to discriminate between these species and their close California relative F. micrantha. The implications of our work could affect conservation decisions involving F. pinetorum: if we are unable to differentiate these two species, then it would imply that they are still exchanging genes and would not be two different species according to the Biological Species Concept.

1 - California State University, Fresno, Biology, 2555 E. San Ramon Ave., M/S SB 73, Fresno, CA, 93740, United States

large genome
species delimitation
rare species.

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PPG003
Abstract ID:261
Candidate for Awards:None

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