Abstract Detail

Ferns at the extreme: the case of moonworts, grape-ferns and adder’s tongues of the family Ophioglossaceae

Legler, Ben [1], Popovich, Steve [2].

Discovery of an elusive diploid Botrychium species from the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming reveals the missing parent of several polyploid Botrychium taxa.

Recent searches for Botrychium taxa in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming led to the serendipitous discovery of a mixed population containing morphologically anomalous individuals. Analysis of plants using enzyme electrophoresis revealed several diploid individuals with allele profiles not matching any known species.  Surprisingly, further study demonstrated these plants possess the predicted allelic patterns of the missing parent of three widespread allotetraploid Botrychium taxa—B. furculatum, B. minganense, and B. paradoxum—results later corroborated through molecular phylogenies using both nuclear and chloroplast markers. Our knowledge of this elusive new species remains limited, and it is currently documented from only three adjacent small sites totaling 30 plants despite additional widespread survey efforts. However, evidence firmly establishes its status as a distinct species as well as its important phylogenetic relationships to other species and involvement in their formation. We will present the interesting story of this heretofore missing parent and its proposed name.

1 - Rocky Mountain Herbarium, Botany Dept. #3165, University of Wyoming, 1000 E University Ave, Laramie, WY, 82071, USA
2 - 7866 Antelope Ridge Pt, Colorado Springs, CO, 80920, United States

new species
enzyme electrophoresis

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: C4007
Abstract ID:189
Candidate for Awards:Edgar T. Wherry award

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