Sawyer, Neil W. , Anclam, Kaitlin , Kossow, Novia .
Comparative Study of Genetic Diversity in the Common Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) and the Rare Prairie Milkweed (A. hirtella).
Levels of genetic diversity, population breeding structure, and effective gene flow are being investigated and contrasted in two populations of both common, widespread whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata L.) and rare prairie milkweed (A. hirtella [Pennell] Woodson) to ultimately determine if there is a fitness related contributing factor for rarity in prairie milkweed. The common species should provide data for a typical healthy species that can be contrasted to that of a rare species. We are testing hypotheses that 1) genetic variability will be lower and inbreeding coefficients higher in the rare species, resulting from mating in smaller populations; and 2) that genetic variability within populations will be lower than between populations for both species. Hypotheses are being tested using starch gel electrophoresis of 15 enzymes in 11 enzyme systems with statistical analyses of band migration patterns. These data will later be combined with previously collected reproductive data for both species to compare and contrast overall fitness between species. Identification of reduced genetic variability and reduced fitness is essential for determining rarity of the species which may lead to a means of increasing reproductive success of rare species and possible conservation of this and other rare species. This study hopes to explore a potential solution to the known problem of rarity of prairie milkweed in southern Wisconsin, specifically through the future exchange of genetic material (seeds) among naturally occurring populations where possible.
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1 - University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Biological Sciences, 800 West Main Street, Whitewater, Wisconsin, 53190, USA
2 - University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Biological Sciences, 800 West Main Street, Whitewater, WI, 53190, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for BSA Sections
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM