Abstract Detail

Functional Genetics/Genomics

Gomez-Quijano, Maria Jose  [1], Wright, Sara J. [2], Olsen, Kenneth M. [2], Gross, Briana L.  [3].

Variation in Cyanide Production of White Clover (Trifolium repens) Across a Steep Environmental Gradient.

White clover (Trifolium repens) is a perennial, herbaceous legume originally from Europe, which has now spread all over the world. White clover can produce hydrogen cyanide (HCN) when damaged, and previous research has found that in areas with warmer climates and low elevations, the percentage of cyanogenic white clover is higher than in colder areas and high elevations. Duluth, Minnesota, has a significant temperature and elevation variation for a small area (226.44 km2): near the lake (185 m) vs. up the hill (435m). Simultaneously, Lake Superior  has an impact on the climate by the lake vs. the top of the hill; the lake generates a cool, wet microclimate along the shoreline. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between elevation, climate, and HCN production in white clover across the Duluth area. We found that 60.5% of the total sampled individuals carry the Ac allele responsible for the production of cyanogenic glucosides (linamarin), and that linamarin production was positively correlated with  elevation. These results are consistent with recent studies of clover adaptation to drought suggesting that linamarin serves as a nitrogen storage system. Plants producing linamarin are able to recover from drought rapidly by accessing the stored nitrogen. Plants at the top of the hill in Duluth may face drier conditions than those near the lake shore, where conditions are generally wetter, thus driving a trend in linamarin production across the elevational gradient.

1 - University of Minnesota Duluth, Biology, 223 S 61st Ave W, 1035 Kirby Drive, Swenson Science Building, Duluth, MN, 55807-55812, USA
2 - Washington University, Biology Dept., Campus Box 1137, 1 Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63130, United States
3 - University of Minnesota Duluth, Biology, 252C Swenson Science Building, 1035 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN, 55812, USA

Hydrogen Cyanide

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PCG004
Abstract ID:383
Candidate for Awards:None

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