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Abstract Detail

Life after Arabidopsis thaliana: Using non-model organisms to understand species interactions

MARTINE , CHRISTOPHER T [1], Jordon-Thaden, Ingrid [2].

The Exceptions Prove the Tool: Utility of studying non-normative reproduction in two non-model groups, spiny Solanum and Draba.

Life on the fringes of predicted behavior merits study for many reasons, including, perhaps paradoxically, to achieve further understanding of broadly applicable concepts. We present an overview of our combined efforts to investigate non-normative modes of reproduction in two unrelated non-model plant systems, Australian spiny Solanum (Solanaceae) and Draba (Brassicaceae). Australian spiny solanums, specifically a particular clade of species from the northern sub-arid zone, offer one of the better windows into the dioecious breeding system.  Ca. 15 species exhibit functional dioecy achieved through production of inaperturate pollen in morphologically hermaphrodite flowers, a condition reflective of an apparently recent transition likely linked to pollinator interactions, species radiations, pressures to outcross, and resource allocation. Draba, a global genus often found in extreme habitats of arctic and alpine ecosystems, is a young polyploid complex of species showing a highly variable set of reproductive forms. Within Draba one can find cryptic species, highly successful selfing populations, obligate outcrossers, and asexual seed production via apomixis. The numerous reproductive systems seen within this single genus can shed light on the evolution of its some 400 different species. We are using classical genetic techniques such as cross-breeding, cytology, embryogenesis studies, and measures of morphological variation in conjunction with modern genomics approaches to explore the myriad reproductive strategies in our study groups and their influence on speciation events. Given current advancements in population genomic and phylogenomic methods, the botanical community is now able to develop any wild-collected biological plant system into a “model organism.” This presentation illustrates some of the initial steps we have taken to begin to understand complex reproductive strategies in natural populations using both modern and classical methods. 

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1 - Bucknell University, Biological Sciences, 203 Biology Building, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, USA
2 - Bucknell University, Biology, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, USA

Cryptic species
reproductive biology
population genomics

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY10
Location: Pines North/Boise Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: SY10002
Abstract ID:367
Candidate for Awards:None

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