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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Forrester, Nicole [1], Ashman, Tia-Lynn [2].

Assessing the direct effects of whole genome duplication on plant morphology: Implications for plant invasion success.

All species occupy space across a geographic landscape with defined boundaries, yet the mechanisms that expand species’ ranges remain unclear. A leading hypothesis for why certain species are more effective at establishing in novel environments than others is polyploidy (i.e., whole genome duplication). Polyploidy can alter genetic, morphological, and physiological traits that permit plants to establish and spread when introduced to novel environments. Despite the potential advantages of polyploidy, it is difficult to determine whether these advantages are due to the direct effects of WGD or evolutionary processes acting after the WGD event. Non-native plant species are excellent models for studying range expansion and plants in the legume family (Fabaceae) are overrepresented among non-native taxa. In order to determine whether WGD can immediately increase the ability to establish in novel environments through altering plant traits, I compared morphological and physiological features of neopolyploids (i.e., artificially induced polyploids) to natural diploids and polyploids of three legume species. Medicago sativa, Securigera varia, and Trifolium pratense are perennial, legumes that occupy broad geographic ranges and are non-native to North America. All species are polymorphic for ploidy and the polyploids are a result of WGD within a species (i.e., autopolyploids). Neopolyploids were created using a colchicine solution and vegetative, reproductive, and physiological traits were measured. Differences in these traits among ploidal levels isolate the direct effects of WGD and provide insight into how WGD may facilitate plant establishment and success in novel habitats.

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1 - University of Pittsburgh, Biology, A518 Langley Hall, 4249 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260, USA
2 - University Of Pittsburgh, Department Of Biological Sciences, 4249 Fifth Avenue & Ruskin, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC036
Abstract ID:1089
Candidate for Awards:None


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