Abstract Detail

Population Genetics/Genomics

Jones, Maia [1], Handley, Vanessa [1], Nagalingum, Nathalie [1].

Exploring conservation genetic methods for meta-collections of functionally extinct in the wild cycads.

Many species of South African cycads are threatened by poaching to the point of being functionally Extinct in the Wild, making conservation efforts extremely critical. In this study of Encephalartos (Zamiaceae), we focus on five exceptionally threatened species, as it is imperative that we assess their genetic diversity and develop a conservation strategy for each of them. However, as is the case for other cycad species, these species of Encephalartos are recalcitrant to standard seed banking methods, and require living collections in order to preserve the species and their genetic diversity. Since they are at a high risk of poaching such that individuals cannot be reintroduced to habitat, we must establish meta-collections across botanical gardens to facilitate care and breeding, and ensure their security. These meta-collections are collaborations between botanical gardens that have agreed to steward collections of these threatened species. One aspect of this method of ex situ conservation involves a population genetic assessment of each species, during which we have explored various wet lab protocols and bioinformatics pipelines to best navigate the evaluation of the genetic diversity of these species. We aim to provide insight into these methods through preliminary analysis of these five Encephalartos species, with the intention of applying our findings to future conservation genetic studies of cycads.

1 - California Academy of Sciences, Botany, 55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA, 94118, USA

population genomics
ex situ living collection.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: PGG5005
Abstract ID:782
Candidate for Awards:Margaret Menzel Award

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